OPEN 13 2013
Tsonga Denies Berdych For Marseille Crown; Saves 1 M.P.
by ATP Staff|
Third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from the brink of defeat for the second time this week on Sunday, saving a match point to beat top seed Tomas Berdych 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 for his 10th ATP World Tour title at the Open 13 in Marseille. Seven of Tsonga’s crowns have come indoors.
“This is a great victory,” said Tsonga. “I stayed in the match even when it was very difficult and waited for my chance. I survived and took my chance when it came. I’m very happy. This shows me that I’m on the right way. The draw was very strong here.
“He played better than me during the first half of the match, but then I played better than him. He served very well and I was maybe too close to the baseline in the beginning.”
With the win, Tsonga reversed a 1-4 FedEx ATP Head2Head record and three-match losing streak against Berdych. He became the first player to win an ATP World Tour title saving match point(s) in two different matches during the same tournament since Sam Querrey in Los Angeles in 2010. In the quarter-finals, the Frenchman also erased five match points to edge Bernard Tomic. World No. 8 Tsonga is the eighth different Top 10 player to lift a trophy in 2013.
Trailing 5-6 in the second set tie-break, Tsonga hit back-to-back aces to reach set point and he subsequently levelled the match. Tsonga broke Berdych for the first time to move ahead 2-1 in the third set and never looked back, tasting victory in two hours and 10 minutes. The home favourite finished with 17 aces to claim his second title in Marseille, adding to his triumph in 2009.
“This victory is different from the one in 2009. Back then I had some problems. Today I see that my work pays off,” Tsonga reflected. “The good thing was that I never gave up even if he played very well and didn’t make any mistakes. I really want to do well. I do everything every day to be at the top which also means a lot of sacrifice.”
Berdych was appearing in his first final of the year. The sixth-ranked Czech dropped to an 8-9 mark in tour-level finals.
“I had a few chances, but Jo was able to serve well in the moment,” said Berdych. “That’s the sport. Here, I lost three tie-breaks. This one was very important. But it happens.”