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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battles past countryman Nicolas Mahut on Thursday in Montpellier.

Tsonga Claims All-French Showdown

Pouille, Gasquet also prevail in Montpellier

French tennis fans had a field day of good homegrown tennis on Thursday at the Open Sud de France, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga led the way in Montpellier.

The third seed never broke countryman Nicolas Mahut, but Tsonga still prevailed past the serve-and-volleying Mahut 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 7-6(4). Tsonga saved three break points, and Mahut saved four in the second-round match that lasted two hours and 24 minutes.

Tsonga has made the semi-finals both times he’s played Montpellier, 2010 and 2017, and in the quarter-finals, he'll meet #NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev.

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Three other Frenchmen also advanced, including second seed Lucas Pouille, who dropped only one point on his first serve (22/23) to breeze past #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Taberner 6-1, 6-2.

Three-time champion Richard Gasquet made another Montpellier quarter-final, toughing out a three-setter against countryman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3. In the decider, Gasquet converted his lone break point and didn't let Herbert see such an opportunity. Benoit Paire, 2013 finalist (l. to Gasquet), hit 17 aces to knock out Aussie John Millman 6-4, 7-6(4).

In other action, fourth seed Bosnian Damir Dzumhur broke seven times to advance past Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium 7-5, 6-4, and Russian Karen Khachanov overcame winning less than 40 per cent of his second-serve points to move past Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-2, 7-6(11).

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has won eight of his 16 tour-level trophies on French soil.

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