Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saved a match ball in the second set before celebrating an ATP tournament victory in front of the home crowd in Marseille.
Top seed Tomas Berdych was leading the head-to-head series against Tsonga 4-1 prior to their final clash at Open 13, yet it was the third-seed Frenchman who was issued the championship trophy in the end. Tsonga thus repeated his 2009 success in Marseille to win his milestone tenth ATP title, half of them on home soil.
The Czech served excellently in the opener, while Tsonga got into trouble in the middle of the set – he somehow managed to make it 2-2, but dropped a service game some minutes later. Berdych soon prepared a triple set ball at 5-3 and used the second one to move one nil up.
Berdych brought his great serving form into the second set, still refusing to gift any break point opportunities to his adversary. On the other hand, the Frenchman escaped three break ball threats, the last one at 5-5. He was then the first to achieve a mini-break in the thirteenth game, yet the world no. 6 Czech pegged back and was handed a championship ball at 6-5 in the tie-break. Tsonga kept his nerves though and grabbed himself a set ball which he gladly converted.
The momentum was on the 8th-ranked Frenchman’s side now and he made a use of it by creating his first couple of break balls in the third game. The second one brought him luck and even a greater psychological advantage as he served confidently all throughout the third set. He wrapped up both match and tournament efficiently with the match ball number one. The final result: 3-6, 7-6 (6) 6-4. Tsonga hit 17 aces (Berdych 11) and rescued 6 out of 7 break balls during two hours and twelve minutes of play.