Zverev Upsets Home Favourite In Montpellier
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev will go for two titles at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier after prevailing in singles and doubles semi-finals on Saturday. The #NextGenATP star rallied from a set down to defeat second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4.
“I'm very happy to be in the final, first final of the year. Really good start to the year,” said Zverev. “It was a very tough match today as well. I think both of us played really well from the baseline and are very powerful. So hopefully it can be another high-level match tomorrow.”
Zverev battled past Tsonga in a physical contest that lasted two hours and 20 minutes. Zverev erased a break point and held to start the third set, and another break point didn't surface until Tsonga slapped a sitting forehand wide while serving at 4-5, 30/30. The Frenchman sailed a backhand long on Zverev's match point.
The German is now into his fourth career ATP World Tour final and looks for his second title. He beat Stan Wawrinka last September to win the St. Petersburg Open, which is also played indoors like the Open Sud de France.
Zverev has shown improved fitness from 2016, fighting through three consecutive three-set matches in Montpellier. He opened his campaign by defeating Aljaz Bedene, then secured a win over Jeremy Chardy in the quarter-finals.
Awaiting him in the final is third seed Richard Gasquet, who needed only 68 minutes to move past countryman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-2. He now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 4-0. The 30-year-old Gasquet will go for his fourth Open Sud de France title on Sunday.
“I [have] never lost against [Paire] but every match is different. It could have happened today because he’s a great player,” Gasquet said. “I’m happy I won. I played really well, didn’t make any mistakes. Every point was difficult, I made him play, I served well. Overall it was a solid match.”
Gasquet won the Montpellier in 2013, and again in 2015 and 2016. He is now 20-3 in Montpellier.
In doubles, Alexander Zverev and his older brother Mischa Zverev beat Indians Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-2, 7-6(1). The Zverev brothers will meet second seeds Fabrice Martin of France and Daniel Nestor of Canada in the final.