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Tsonga falls, cedes crown to Verdasco

MELBOURNE, Australia – Fernando Verdasco beat Frenchman Jo Wilfried Tsonga, 7-5, 6-3, on Saturday to win the Kooyong Classic, an eight-man exhibition warmup for the Australian Open.

Verdasco controlled the match, racing to a 4-0 lead in the second set before Tsonga broke back to 4-2.

After wins over 2007 Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez of Chile and 2008 Australian champion Novak Djokovic to reach the final, Verdasco only needed 84 minutes to beat Tsonga, a surprise finalist at Melbourne Park two years ago. (AP)

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