Tsonga sees off Wawrinka
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Getty Images)
Monte Carlo - Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to reach the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals for the first time.
Fifth seed Tsonga, who had not reached the last four in a Masters series event since his 2011 home triumph at the Paris Open, set up a possible clash with eight-time champion Rafael Nadal who plays Bulgarian youngster Grigor Dimitrov later.
On a chilly morning on the picturesque Centre Court, with the sun hidden by clouds and a cool breeze refreshing the sparse crowd, the heat quickly went up as both players started fast.
A solid Wawrinka clinched the first set by pushing Tsonga beyond his baseline and was looking on course to repeat the superb third-round performance which knocked out world number two Andy Murray.
However, Tsonga's aggression paid off with the Swiss-based Frenchman making the most of his rare break chances to overcome his occasional training partner.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic, still recovering from a sprained ankle, was scheduled to meet Finland's Jarkko Nieminen and seventh seed Richard Gasquet of France faces Italian Fabio Fognini in the other quarter-finals.
Results from the sixth day of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Friday (x denotes seeding):
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x6) bt Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x13) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4