Tsonga marches into Tokyo final, faces Youzhny
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:47
World No.7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga coasted into the final of the Japan Open with a 6-3 6-3 win over compatriot Gael Monfils.
Tsonga broke in game four of the first set thanks to an athletic volley as he overpowered his off-court friend.
and was rewarded for another charge to the net to clinch a 5-3 advantage in the second before closing it out on serve after just 55 minutes with his ninth ace of the match.
“I played unbelievable,” he said. “It was amazing, I was able to do anything I wanted. It was great.
“It’s always difficult playing against a friend but that’s the way it goes and I’m just happy to be in the final.”
Tsonga will face Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny in Sunday’s final at Ariake Colosseum after the Russian followed up his win over defending champion Tomas Berdych with a 6-2 5-7 7-5 victory over Lleyton Hewitt.
“It will be a tough match,” Tsonga, who has already claimed titles in Johannesberg and Marseilles this year, said. “Mikhail has been playing well all week, but so have I.”
Unseeded Youzhny posted 10 aces on his way to victory over 2001 champion Hewitt in Saturday’s other semifinal.
“That’s the best tennis I’ve played for a long, long time,” Youzhny said. “There were good games before, but just one game. Here, all my games have been at a high level.”
Youzhny broke Hewitt in the final game of the match when the No.8 seed hit two successive backhands into the net. It was Youzhny’s first win over Hewitt in four matches.
“I didn’t have a chance to break him until the final game,” Youzhny said. “He was at 40-15 and I was able to put some good points together.”
Sunday’s final will be Youzhny’s second of the year after he reached the final of the BMW Open in Munich in May, losing to Berdych. The Russian’s last singles title came at Chennai at the start of the 2008 season.
In the doubles final, tennishead blogger Ross Hutchins and Australian partner Jordan Kerr are through to the final after a 6-3 3-6 10-7 victory over Christopher Kas and Jaroslav Levinsky.
Hutchins and Kerr will face Austrian duo Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer in the final.