All French-Final Set In Marseille
It will be an all-French final on Sunday at the Open 13 Marseille. Second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga finally broke defending champion Nick Kyrgios to take their semi-final 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 12 minutes. Later in the day, fourth seed Lucas Pouille dismissed countryman Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3 to reach his first final of the season.
Tsonga twice broke the 21-year-old Kyrgios and withstood 16 aces to earn the chance for a third Open 13 Marseille title, having also won the event in 2009 and 2013. Kyrgios had held all tournament and didn't drop his serve once during his title run in Marseille a year ago, which was his maiden ATP World Tour crown.
The 31-year-old Tsonga also saved five of eight break points to take their first-ever match-up. He is riding an eight-match winning streak and will be going for back-to-back titles. Tsonga captured the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament title in Rotterdam last week (d. Goffin).
Tsonga and Pouille have faced off only once before, with Tsonga taking the FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter during the Round of 16 at the 2016 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
But Pouille has won back-to-back matches this week for the first time this year and looked sharp from the start against Gasquet. The 23 year old broke Gasquet in the 12th game to take the first set, and Pouille raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set before ending the semi-final on his serve after 91 minutes.
Pouille delivered 12 aces and saved five of six break points in the semi-final. He will be going for his second ATP World Tour title after winning the Moselle Open in Metz last September, which, like the Open 13 Marseille, is played indoors. Sunday's final will mark Pouille's third career ATP World Tour final. He fell in the 2016 Bucharest final to Fernando Verdasco.
Dutchman Robin Haase and Brit Dominic Inglot advanced to the doubles final with a 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 win against Kyrgios and countryman Matt Reid. Haase/Inglot will meet top seeds Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut in the final.