© Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon

Top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili fought back from a slow start to beat 2017 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Lyon on Thursday.

Basilashvili Beats Tsonga In Lyon; Fritz, Paire Cause Upsets

Fritz beats second seed Bautista Agut

Nikoloz Basilashvili remained on course to reach his fifth ATP Tour final (2-2) on Thursday at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon.

The top-seeded Georgian avenged his 2017 semi-final loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a 6-4, 6-4 win in 82 minutes at the ATP 250 clay-court tournament. Former champion Tsonga took a 2-0 lead, but the momentum soon swung in the favour of Basilashvili, who is through to a semi-final for the first time since winning the China Open in October 2018.

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Basilashvili will face fourth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat Steve Johnson of the United States 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Auger-Aliassime hit 11 aces and broke Johnson twice in the third set to reach his third semi-final of the season. Auger-Aliassime beat Basilashvili in March 2019 at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

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 American Taylor Fritz recorded his fourth Top 30 win of the season. The 21-year-old broke a two-match losing streak against second-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, this year’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open champion (d. Berdych), in a 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4 victory over two hours and five minutes. Fritz struck 16 aces and lost just 10 of his first-service points (44/54).

Bautista Agut saved one set point at 5/6 in the first set tie-break, before Fritz bounced back to take a 3-0 lead in the second set. The World No. 46 broke in the ninth game of the decider en route to a place in his first ATP Tour semi-final since October 2018 at the Chengdu Open (l. to Fognini).

Fritz now plays France’s Benoit Paire, the Grand Prix Hassan II titlist (d. Andujar), who held his nerve to overcome third-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) in one hour and 55 minutes.

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