MOSELLE OPEN 2012
Tsonga To Face Seppi For Metz Crown
by ATP Staff|
World No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is one win away from retaining his Moselle Open title after holding off Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 victory in Metz on Saturday. The Frenchman will challenge Andreas Seppi in the final.
Having lost his past two meetings with Davydenko, Tsonga looked set to turn the tables on the Russian as he reeled off the first seven games of the match. However, former World No. 3 Davydenko hit back with service breaks in the seventh and ninth games to level the match. Tsonga regrouped in the decider and broke serve in the ninth game to close out victory in one hour and 47 minutes.
“I am happy about being in the final again here. I am rather positive about my game,” said Tsonga. “I think I have been playing better and better each match. Today I served really well throughout the match. I only had one gap that cost me the second set. It's a satisfaction to finally have defeated Nikolay, my list of players I never beat is getting smaller.
“It's always been tough against Andreas. It will be a difficult match. I believe I also lost against him. He is very solid and playing very well lately so I will prepare myself for a big fight.”
The 27-year-old Tsonga won this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament last year with victory over Ivan Ljubicic. He has an 8-5 record in tour-level finals and is bidding to win his second trophy of the season after triumphing in Doha (d. Monfils) in January.
Tsonga takes a 2-1 career lead into the final against World No. 28 Seppi, who came from a set down to defeat France’s Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. The fifth-seeded Italian saved five of the six break points he faced, including pressure from Monfils in the final game of the match, to claim victory in one hour and 41 minutes. The seventh-seeded Monfils was playing his first tournament in nearly four months after being sidelined with a knee injury.
"It was a tough match, like always," said Seppi. "Especially when you play against Gael in France, it's always tough. I think I started a little bit slow; I gave him too much rhythm. I did better in the second set and in the end it was more of a fight. We had some very long rallies, especially in the last game. I feel pretty confident and I hope I can recover for the final."
The 28-year-old Seppi is looking to win his third ATP World Tour title and second of the season following victory at the Serbia Open in Belgrade (d. Paire); he also finished runner-up to Andy Roddick at the AEGON International in Eastbourne.
He will be one of two Italians to feature in ATP World Tour finals on Sunday, with Fabio Fognini having advanced to the title match at the St. Petersburg Open in Russia.