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Ferrer Beats Tsonga To Reach First Major Final

Paris, France

Ferrer© AFP/Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer became the third oldest first-time major finalist.

Fourth seed David Ferrer reached his first Grand Slam final on Friday at Roland Garros, ending French hopes for a home champion by defeating sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 7-6(3), 6-2.

Ferrer has made more Grand Slam appearances than any other player in the Open Era prior to getting through to his first major final. The Spaniard had been 0-5 in major semi-finals and is the third oldest first-time Grand Slam finalist. He has not lost a set during the tournament.

“I'm very, very happy. This tournament is very special for me and to be the first final of Grand Slam in Roland Garros is amazing,” said Ferrer. “Now I want to enjoy this moment, to rest tomorrow, and to try my best in the final.”

If Ferrer wants to cap off his run with the title, he will have to overturn a 4-19 record against compatriot Rafael Nadal, who is bidding for his eighth event crown in nine years. Nadal has won eight straight meetings (all clay), but Ferrer pushed the Mallorcan to three sets in the quarter-finals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome.

“I know he's the favourite, but I am going to be focused every point. I will try to do my best,” Ferrer said. “I am not thinking about Rafael, [if] he's better than me or not. I will try to fight a lot and to play very good match. After that, the match [is going to] depend on a lot of things.” 

Tsonga was contesting his first semi-final at Roland Garros. His best major result was a runner-up finish at the 2008 Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). Tsonga was aiming to become the first Frenchman to reach the final at the Paris major since Henri Leconte in 1988.

“The plan was to try to be aggressive, to control the match, to take control of the baseline and try to stay in the court and make him run,” said Tsonga. “But it was tough because he defended well, and I always felt like I have to play the perfect shot, to put him out of position.”

Read: How The Match Was Won

Meeting for the fourth time, Ferrer won 48 per cent of his return points en route to converting six breaks of serve. The World No. 5 also excelled at net, winning 17 of 22 points when he came forward. Tsonga hit 31 winners, but committed 56 unforced errors in defeat. Ferrer claimed the win in two hours and 24 minutes to notch his third victory over Tsonga.

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