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Wawrinka defeats Tsonga to reach Roland Garros final


Stanislas Wawrinka ended hopes for a French champion at Roland Garros this year, as he earned a 6-3 6-7 7-6 6-4 victory over Jo Wilfred Tsonga to reach his first French Open final. 

The Swiss player, who was exceptional in ousting his countryman Roger Federer in the quarters, was pushed more in this contest but ultimately prevailed against the home favourite.

The first set saw the Frenchman quickly establish break point chances in Wawrinka’s opening service game, but Tsonga failed to convert and was to be punished later on by the Swiss player.  The sheer power of the Wawrinka groundstrokes proved too much to handle for Tsonga, who suddenly found himself a break down after being unable to close out a 40-0 service game, and this advantage was enough for the former Australian Open champion to seize the first set 6-3.

Wawrinka appeared to be in the ascendancy and continued to frustrate Tsonga in the extreme heat, as an early break in the second set kept the French crowd relatively quiet and his opponent on the back foot once again. 

However, Tsonga finally made the breakthrough to level the score at 4-4, much to the delight of the fans as they sensed their man was back into the contest. Even though the Swiss player threatened to regain the lead after forging break points at 5-5, Tsonga stood firm and crucially survived the game.

 A tie-break would soon follow, and it was Tsonga who was more solid and consistent, benefitting from Wawrinka’s erratic play to take the set 7-6 (7-1)and as a result level the match at one set apiece.

Tsonga looked to build momentum in the third set and created opportunities to take control of the match early on, but Wawrinka battled hard to keep the match competitive. For the majority of the set, the Frenchman seemed to be the more energetic of the two, but his opponent was mentally strong and just managed to hold onto his service games.

The third set would also be decided by a tiebreak, but it was a much more closer affair than the previous one. Despite both players struggling in the early exchanges to create a lead, Wawrinka finally surged ahead using his trademark heavy backhand and the Swiss player did not relinquish his advantage. Once again, just like the first set, the Frenchman was left to rue the missed chances that he had to break Wawrinka, who took the set 7-6 (7-3). 

Wawrinka started the fourth set with intent, and broke the Tsonga serve to quickly consolidate a 2-0 lead as the Frenchman seemed to be deflated from the third set loss. The home hope pushed to try to recover the deficit, but again Wawrinka found the answer on crucial points to continue to keep Tsonga at bay. 

The early break was enough, as the Swiss player completed the hard-fought victory to reach his second grand slam final, and now awaits the winner of the other blockbuster semi-final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.


French Open Jo Wilfred Tsonga

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