Tennis: Tsonga stops Stan in Monte Carlo
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ended the giant-killing run of Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka on Friday, earning a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win to put a Frenchman into the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters for the second year in a row.
- Posted 19 Apr 2013 20:10
MONTE CARLO, Monaco: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ended the giant-killing run of Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka on Friday, earning a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win to put a Frenchman into the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters for the second year in a row.
Tsonga, seeded sixth, followed the 2012 example of Gilles Simon by reaching the final four with Wawrinka starting out strong but unable to continue the big-match success which led him to a third-round hammering of second seed Andy Murray.
Tsonga will now gather his strength for his match on Saturday against the winner from eight-time champion Rafael Nadal and Bulgarian young gun Grigor Dimitrov.
Wawrinka saved four match points -- three on his own serve in the penultimate game -- before the Frenchman bulldozed to victory in just over two hours on the clay.
Tsonga ended with his sixth ace in a match where he fended off 10 Wawrinka break points from 12 chances for the Swiss.
"Stan made me work for this win as he saved all those match points," said Tsonga. "I'm just glad to get to the semi-finals."
Tsonga is one of two Frenchman still in contention, with seventh seed and 2005 semi-finalist Richard Gasquet playing later against Italian Fabio Fognini.
Wawrinka swept the first set in 42 minutes but found his progress slowed in the second as the burly Tsonga began to discover his deadly range.
The French seed broke twice in the second to level at a set apiece.
He went up a break in the third 4-3 but had to battle through Wawrinka's last stand before winning on his fourth match point.