Tsonga Surges to Fourth Final of '17
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will play in his fourth ATP World Tour final of the season at the European Open in Antwerp. The Frenchman ended the run of home favourite Ruben Bemelmans on Saturday 6-3, 6-3 in 73 minutes.
“Today was a good match. I played pretty good. Ruben had played a few good matches before and he was pretty confident, so it was not easy. I played well and had to play my best tennis to win,” Tsonga said.
Tsonga broke twice in both sets, converting all four break points, and erased two of three break points to roll past the Belgian, who was playing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final. Sunday will mark Tsonga's first title match since May, when he won the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (d. Berdych).
The right-hander will meet Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who ended the career-best run of 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece with a 6-3, 7-5 win. The #NextGenATP Greek was playing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final.
Schwartzman started slow in both sets, falling behind a break. But the World No. 26 rallied to reach back-to-back European Open finals. “I think I took every chance I had today,” Schwartzman said. “I returned really well.”
Schwartzman fell in last year's title match to Frenchman Richard Gasquet. The 5'7” Argentine won his maiden title last year at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open (d. Dimitrov). It will be his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Tsonga.
“It's going to be a really tough match for me. Tsonga is a big player, big guy. He has played in a lot of finals. He has won many titles in his career,” Schwartzman said. “I'm going to enjoy the match here again in the final, try to win and try to play good tennis.
“Before I started to be a professional I saw him on TV, and now I am playing against him. It's very nice for me. I am learning a lot and playing good tennis.”