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Tsonga Sets All-French Final With Simon

Metz, France

Simon© A. Briand - Moselle OpenGilles Simon advanced to his second final of the year with a straight-sets win over Nicolas Mahut.

Top seed and two-time defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga powered past Florian Mayer, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, firing nine aces to extend his winning streak at the Moselle Open to 11 matches.

Tsonga will face compatriot Gilles Simon in an all-French affair for the Metz crown on Sunday. A Frenchman is guaranteed to hoist the trophy for the fifth consecutive year.

The World No. 8 struggled early on and was broken to open the match. He would eventually settle down after dropping the opening set for the second match in a row, and would not face a break point thereafter.

With a win on Sunday, Tsonga will become just the seventh active player to complete a three-peat on the ATP World Tour and the first Frenchman in the Open Era.

It will be Tsonga’s second final of the year (d. Berdych in Marseille) and 18th of his career, with all 10 titles coming on hard courts.

Meanwhile, wild card and No. 2 seed Gilles Simon made quick work of countryman Nicolas Mahut in the first semi-final of the day, triumphing 6-3, 7-6(2). 

Simon enters his second final on the ATP World Tour in 2013 (l. to Lopez in Eastbourne) having not dropped a set all week. It will be the Frenchman’s sixth career final on indoor hard courts, with his most recent title on the surface coming here in Metz in 2010.

"Today was a very good match for me. I broke him early and was solid from the baseline," Simon said. "I’ve been practicing for a month before coming back here. I needed to do that and I think that today was a pretty solid match."

Mahut failed to garner a break point during the match as Simon won 80 per cent of his first serve points. The 28-year-old Nice native would break twice in the first set and dominated the second set tie-break, prevailing on his first match point.

A win on Sunday would give Simon an 11th title overall. He trails the FedEx ATP Head2Head 2-5 with their most recent meeting having come in the Marseille semi-finals earlier this year. Tsonga won 6-2, 6-2. He owns a 5-0 hard court edge in the rivalry, while Simon won both meetings on clay.

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Tsonga Eyes Metz Double

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will pull double duty on Sunday after defeating Paul Hanley and Andre Sa 6-2, 6-7(2), 10-4 to advance to the doubles final, alongside Nicolas Mahut. The French duo were broken while serving for the match in the second set, but bounced back in the match tie-break to secure the win. They will face the Swedish-South African tandem of Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klaasen in the final. 

It will be Tsonga's eighth career doubles final, with his most recent title coming at the 2009 Shanghai Rolex Masters, alongside Julien Benneteau. Mahut will be seeking his eighth doubles crown, having won the Newport title with Edouard Roger-Vasselin earlier this year and having registered a runner-up finish on home soil at Roland Garros.

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