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Tsonga Dispatches Dimitrov To Reach Toronto Final

Toronto, Canada

Tsonga© Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga will contest his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final after defeating Grigor Dimitrov in Toronto.

No. 13 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the Rogers Cup title match in Toronto.

The Frenchman reached his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and first in three years, having finished runner-up at the 2011 BNP Paribas Masters (l. to Federer) after winning the Paris title in 2008 (d. Nalbandian). He will contest his 20th tour-level final, seeking an 11th crown.

"I'm feeling good," said Tsonga. "I have been waiting for this moment for a couple of years now.

"It's good because I have always believed in myself during all these years," added Tsonga. "It will for sure make me stronger and keep my motivation at the highest level."

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Tsonga is right at home in Canada, having advanced to his third semi-final in four appearances with consecutive victories over former champions Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray earlier in the week. He is the second Frenchman to progress to the Rogers Cup final, following in the footsteps of Richard Gasquet (2006, '12).

A day after striking a 147 mph (237 km) ace against Murray, Tsonga was dominant on serve once again, firing seven aces and winning 88 per cent of first serve points. He attacked Dimitrov's forehand often with his serve and pounced on the 23 year old's slice backhands, injecting significant pace into 22 winners.

Tsonga won the first set in impressive fashion, saving four break points while serving for the opener at 5-4, all with service winners.

The Le Mans native would break to love for a 2-1 lead in the second set, reeling off 11 straight points. A second break at 5-3 would seal the victory after 84 minutes.

Dimitrov was bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. The youngest player in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, the Bulgarian saved two match points en route to a quarter-final win over Kevin Anderson on Friday. He is seeded seventh at next week's Western & Southern Open, and will open against either Jerzy Janowicz or a qualifier.

"It's not an easy loss for me considering that I had played such a good match yesterday," said Dimitrov. "I thought he played a good match, but I think I didn't raise the bar.

"Still, I have to take the positive side of the week. Coming to Cincinnati I feel quite good. I don't put my head down for a second here, because it's good progress for me. But I'm still disappointed with the loss. I'm not going to hide that. I have to think positive."

The former World No. 5 Tsonga will face the winner of the second semi-final between two-time champion Roger Federer and Feliciano Lopez.

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