Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon: Tsonga reaches first clay-court final
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame a second-set wobble to reach his first clay-court final at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon by beating Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Basilashvili surprisingly forced a decider against the home hope, breaking the Frenchman twice in the second set.
But Tsonga responded magnificently in the third, rattling off four straight games to move a win away from a third title of 2017 with a 6-2 3-6 6-1 triumph.
It will not be top seed Milos Raonic who he faces in the final, though, after Tomas Berdych won the other semi-final in straight sets.
En finale de l’ @OpenParcARA #Recup #Apresmatch pic.twitter.com/7Pzt0NZKtW
— Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (@tsonga7) May 26, 2017
Raonic had won five of the previous seven meetings between the two, including their showdown in Rome last week.
But it was Berdych who edged Friday’s last-four contest, winning two tie-breaks to prevail 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2).
World number six Raonic knocked down 17 aces, but paid the price in the first set for spurning three set points on Berdych’s serve.
He then forged a 3-1 lead in the tie-break, but won just two more points as Berdych took the set.
Raonic was able to break Berdych in the second for a 2-1 lead, only to see that disappear as the Czech struck back three games later and then went to dominate in the second tie-break.