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World No.9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga faced a hefty challenge from Marat Safin but still came out victorious with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over the Russian.
The Frenchman broke in the 10th game of the first set to steal the set 6-4. The second set was a tighter affair but Tsonga stepped it up a notch and broke Safin to 15 in the 12th game to wrap up the victory in 89 minutes.
Before the match, Tsonga recieved the 2008 Most Improved Player of the Year and said:” Today I am happy with my game, I played great tennis, offensive tennis. I played some good serves, some good volleys and I was really aggressive so I am happy today.”