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Gulbis To Face Tsonga For Marseille Title

Marseille, France

Gulbis© Getty ImagesErnests Gulbis is chasing his fifth ATP World Tour title.

Ernests Gulbis reached his fifth ATP World Tour final on Saturday as he ousted top seed Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 at the Open 13 in Marseille. 

The Latvian has a perfect 4-0 record in finals, winning two titles last year in Delray Beach (d. Roger-Vasselin) and St. Petersburg (d. Garcia-Lopez). In Sunday’s final, he will face defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Gulbis won the pair’s last meeting in the Wimbledon second round last year, but trails their FedEx ATP Head2Head 1-3.

In recording his first win in two attempts over Gasquet, Gulbis fired 15 aces and converted three of his four break points. He won 77 per cent of points on serve as he claimed his ninth win of the season. The 25 year old reached the semi-finals last week in Rotterdam (l. to Berdych).

"Today was very good," said Gulbis. "Everything was working: serve, backhand. I was a bit tired from yesterday, so I just tried to keep the points short and I felt so good doing that."

"It was very difficult for me,” admitted Gasquet, who reached the Montpellier final two weeks ago (l. to Monfils). “He was just better. On a fast surface like this, it’s very tough to play against somebody like Ernests. He was just more powerful than me and didn’t have any weakness. I didn’t have any chances, not a single break point.”

Tsonga will look to win the Marseille crown for the third time after edging Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(4), 7-5 in one hour and 39 minutes. The second seed saved five of the six break points he faced and hit 10 aces as he ended the run of World No. 117 Struff, who was appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final.

The 28-year-old Tsonga lifted the Marseille trophy in 2009 (d. Llodra) and 2013 (d. Berdych). He is looking to win his 11th ATP World Tour title in 19 finals.

French Duo Reaches Final
French second seeds Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin reached their first ATP World Tour final together as they defeated Germans Gero Kretschmer and Alexander Satschko 6-1, 7-5 in 55 minutes. 

They will play Paul Hanley and Jonathan Marray in Sunday’s final. Both Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin are looking to win the Marseille title for the second time, after victory for Benneteau in 2010 (w/ Llodra) and Roger-Vasselin in 2012 (w/ Mahut).

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