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Ferrer bursts Tsonga bubble to reach French Open final

ESPN staff
June 7, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
David Ferrer silenced the crowd en route to reaching his first grand slam final © AP
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's hopes of becoming the first Frenchman in 30 years to win the French Open are over after he was beaten by David Ferrer 6-1 7-6(3) 6-2 in the semi-final on Friday.

Yannick Noah last delivered home success for the nation at Roland Garros in 1983, and while Tsonga revelled in a fine last-eight victory over Roger Federer, the sixth seed could not keep his tremendous campaign going as he was outdone by a professional and workman-like display from Ferrer.

Ferrer will face fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in Sunday's showpiece final after the record seven-time champion edged out world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a gruelling five-setter earlier in the day. It is set to be Ferrer's maiden grand slam final after five previous failed attempts for the 31-year-old.

With half of his 20 titles coming on clay, Ferrer immediately asserted his authority on the match by holding from 0-30 to move a game in front, and the Spaniard broke Tsonga to race into a 3-0 lead.

Firmly in control of the contest, Ferrer chased every shot down in typical fashion, and the crowd had yet to be given anything to cheer about as Tsonga struggled.

Ferrer was given plenty of time to dictate the rallies as Tsonga stood extremely deep behind the baseline, and while the Frenchman appeared to be nervous in front of his home support Ferrer continued to ooze confidence.

Tsonga snapped up the sixth game to get himself on the scoreboard, but after saving a couple of set points was unable to prevent Ferrer from clinching it 6-1.

A new set presented a new Tsonga, and the sixth seed blasted his way to a 3-0 advantage as he and the crowd came alive.

However, Ferrer found a way back into the set by coming from 30-0 behind to secure the break back, and took four consecutive games to go 4-3 in front.

The momentum was fully with Tsonga, and he squandered a set point at 5-4 as Ferrer did well to save it given someone called out on his serve.

Ferrer managed to force a tiebreak, and it was one where Tsonga fell to pieces as he won six of the first seven points to claim it 7-3 with a fine drop shot.

Ferrer continued to play solidly from the baseline, and the Spaniard seized the first break of the third set by flashing a brilliant backhand on the stretch past Tsonga.

The atmosphere was dampened by Ferrer once again as mentally Tsonga was not in a good state - demonstrated when he failed to show his opponent a change for new balls on the serve.

With the luxury of a second break taken in the seventh game, Ferrer wrapped the match up to reach his first grand slam final after 13 years of trying since he turned professional.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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