Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was given a tough draw in the Toronto Masters and very few would have given him a chance of going all the way to win the title. But, the Frenchman, against all odds, managed to clinch his second ATP 1000 tournament by beating more top-10 players than anyone else in the tournament.
Tsonga defeated world number one Novak Djokovic in the third round, former US Open champion Andy Murray in the quarterfinals and Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the semis. In the title match, he got the better of Swiss maestro Roger Federer to register his first victory over him this season.
The French player was beaten twice - in the Australian Open and in the Monte Carlo Masters - by Federer this year. But, Tsonga maintained his fine form to complete a 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory over the Swiss ace to win his first title of the season.
"I feel good," said Tsonga. "I think for the moment I don't realize really what I achieved this week, but it's a big achievement for me. It's completely different than before when I won in Paris. In Paris it was the first one, behind my family, all my friends, everybody.
"Here I just did it with my level, with my game. I played well all week. I beat many good guys. It's a big achievement because I worked really hard to come back from my knee injury last year."
Both players made quite a few errors in the first set but still managed to hold their serves until Tsonga lifted his game at 5-5 to clinch the opener 7-5.
Tsonga missed a championship point in the second set at 5-4, when he lost his concentration, and the second set went down the wire, as Federer, who earlier saved five break points, failed to maintain the tempo in the tie breaker to give the Frenchman a famous victory.
"Today was just difficult in terms of rhythm from the baseline, so it was like a new tournament for me," said Federer. "No excuses. I think he played really solid and well when he had to and I think he served well overall, which was key for him.
"I'm overall pretty happy that I made the finals in my first tournament back on hard courts...I know what I need to work on the next few days and next few weeks."
The win will come as a big motivation for Tsonga ahead of the US Open, as he made early exits from last two Grand Slam events. He also narrowed his head-to-head series against Federer to 5-11.
"I think for me it's going to be a new motivation because just last year I always lost against those guys and it was really frustrating for me," he said. "Then today a win against [Federer], it's good for me, it's good for my ambition and it's good for my career."
Watch the Highlights of Roger Federer vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Match Here: