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Friday, July 1, 2011

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal reach Sunday's Wimbledon final

There is no end in sight to Britain's wait at Wimbledon, not with Rafael Nadal of Spain smothering Andy Murray on his home turf once more.

But Novak Djokovic's wait to get to No. 1 in the world is certain to end when next week's computer rankings are released.

Djokovic's deeply convincing, deeply entertaining victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Friday's first semifinal means that for the first time in more than seven years, someone other than Nadal or Roger Federer of Switzerland will hold the top spot.

"They don't give you a lot of chances to become number one," said Djokovic, a 24-year-old from Serbia who is 47-1 this season. "So I guess you need to lose only one match in seven months to get there. If you can do that, then well done."

Well done then to Djokovic for absorbing all of Tsonga's power, showmanship and momentum on Centre Court and answering with plenty of his own to win 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-7 (9-11), 6-3.

"I can beat everybody today, but not Djokovic," No. 12 seed Tsonga said. "He was everywhere."

Djokovic and Nadal will meet in Sunday's final.

Djokovic has defeated Nadal four straight times, but top-ranked Nadal has won 20 consecutive matches at Wimbledon.

Though they have not met each other on grass since 2008, Djokovic is 0-2 on the surface against Nadal, who has won two Wimbledon titles.

Djokovic is playing in his first Wimbledon final.

"I think every child has a dream to become something in his life," he said. "We live from those dreams. Obviously I had a big support of my family and people around me that allowed me to have the opportunity to reach that dream, to reach the life goal."

Murray has yet to reach his major goals. Although he seems increasingly comfortable as the annual focal point of Wimbledon — cracking wry comments — he has not been able to give Britain its first men's finalist here since 1938, let alone its first men's champion since 1936.

Nadal beat No. 4 seed Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal said he was even feeling for Murray during the match.

"I'm not a robot when I'm playing; I think," Nadal said.

"He's the best player without a title of Grand Slam that I ever see."

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