Paris, June 5 (IANS) Swiss world No.9 Stanislas Wawrinka outclassed French world No.15 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 in the semi-finals to advance into his maiden final of the French Open here on Friday.
The 30-year-old Tsonga’s dream of becoming the first Frenchman to reach the Roland Garros final since Henri Leconte in 1988 was smashed as Wawrinka entered his second Grand Slam final after winning his first major title at the Australian Open in 2014.
It was Tsonga who made the better start as he came out firing on Court Philippe Chatrier, but could not convert any of his three break points in the opening game and was ultimately made to rue his missed opportunities.
But Wawrinka afforded Tsonga no opportunity to take it with a rifling inside-out forehand winner. It would be Tsonga’s last chance as Wawrinka went on to seal the opener 6-3 in 35 minutes.
In the second set, Tsonga did not let his head go down though. After pushing Wawrinka in the sixth game, the Swiss holding from 0/30, Tsonga got his breakthrough in the eighth game. Two double faults put Wawrinka in trouble at 30/40 and he went wide with a forehand as Tsonga levelled at 4-4.
The second set went into tie-breaker. Somewhat dispirited at not getting the breakthrough, Wawrinka’s level dropped in the tie-break and Tsonga pounced, winning it 7-1 to level the match after 63 minutes.
It was Tsonga who had all the chances in the third set, but Wawrinka ultimately won the big points. After a good fight, the third set also went into tie-break. The Lausanne native reeled off four straight points from 3-3, wreaking havoc with his famed backhand to claim the clutch third set in 72 minutes.
The fourth set also saw Wawrinka dominating from the start. A couple of unforced errors by Tsonga helped him take advantage and with some quality shots, win the set 6-4 and advance into the final.