Tsonga cruises in Stockholm
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (File)
Stockholm - Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to earn a place in the Stockholm Open semi-finals against 2009 champion Marcos Baghdatis.
World No 7 Tsonga, playing in the Swedish capital for the first time, put on an impressive display of serve and volley tennis to advance.
Leading 5-3 in the second set, the Frenchman squandered four match points on Stakhovsky's serve. But on his serve, Tsonga finished with a powerful forehand winner on the fifth match point.
Cypriot Baghdatis edged Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
The other semi-final features Spain's Nicolas Almagro and second-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
Almagro beat former No 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-4, while Berdych defeated Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) in the late match.
In a highly entertaining contest filled with baseline rallies, Berdych looked set for a comfortable win when he broke Youzhny early in the second set.
But Youzhny raised his game and immediately broke back, after which the two players held serve until the tie-break. At that point, Berdych moved up a gear, taking a 5-0 lead before sealing his place in Saturday's semi-finals.
Berdych now has a 6-6 head-to-head in meetings with Youzhny.
Results from the fifth day of the ATP Stockholm Open on Friday (x denotes seeding):
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x1) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-3, 6-4
Nicolas Almagro (ESP x3) bt Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 6-1, 6-4
Marcos Baghdatis (CYP x7) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Tomas Berdych (CZE x2) bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS x6) 6-3, 7-6 (7/2)