Gilles Simon ousted defending champ Del Potro and has set up a semifinal clash against his countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Marseille ATP tournament.
To the joy of the home crowd, third seed Tsonga made his way to Open 13 semis where he will meet his compatriot Simon. The Frenchman, who conquered Marseille in 2009, threatened his quarterfinal opponent Bernard Tomic early in the opening set, yet the unseeded Canadian witheld the pressure and ultimately grabbed the only break of the set to go one nil up. Tsonga escaped to 3-0 in the beginning of the following set and never looked back. He held his serves calmly and made it one all after converting the second set ball.
The spectators were in for a dramatic finish. Tomic had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the decider, but wasted a couple of break balls in the longest game of the day – it lasted 21 rallies. The Canadian was even closer to the triumph in the tie-break, yet he could make the final step towards the next round – he squandered five match point chances and was punished few moments later when Tsonga wrapped the clash up with the second match ball. The lucky Frenchman advanced with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10) final score, striking 19 aces (Tomic 7) in the process.
The second quarterfinal encounter in the bottom part of the draw was, surprisingly, much less exciting as sixth-seeded Simon overcame reigning champion Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets. The second seed Argentinian gave away a serve in each of the two sets and wasted all of his three break points. Simon thus booked his semifinal ticket with a smooth 6-4, 6-3 victory and made their head to head score 3-3.