• Tsonga, Monfils reach Moselle Open semifinals

    9/21/12 8:42 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga, Monfils reach Moselle Open semifinals Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes care of Jesse Levine in straight sets on Friday in Metz. Tsonga is joined in the semifinals by fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils, who overcame Philipp Kohlschreiber in a tough three-setter.

    (1) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-4

    Tsonga booked a semifinal spot and moved to within two wins of successfully defending his 2011 Moselle Open title by defeating Levine in one hour and 34 minutes on Friday night. The turning point of the match came with Levine serving up a break at 2-1 in the first set. A wild 18-minute game saw Levine squander a host of game points while saving seven break points before finally netting a backhand on Tsonga's eighth chance. With momentum finally in hand, Tsonga won four of the next five games.

    Levine also did well to make the second set competitive. The 78th-ranked American fought off four more break points to reach 4-4 before donating serve in the ninth game. Tsonga promptly finished things off with a routine service hold, punctuated by his seventh ace on his second match point. The seventh-ranked Frenchman awaits either Nikolay Davyenko or Ivo Karlovic on Saturday.

    (7) Gael Monfils d. (2) Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4

    Monfils' comeback to tennis picked up steam on Friday in Metz, but not before a huge quarterfinal struggle with Kohlschreiber that lasted two hours and 26 minutes. Kohlschreiber twice gave back breaks in the first set, including when he served for it at 5-4. The 18th-ranked German recovered to win five straight points in the ensuing tiebreaker starting at 1-1 to take complete control. Monfils took care of his next two service points for 3-6, but Kohlschreiber finished it off on serve one point later.

    Monfils quickly reversed the momentum by racing to a 5-2 lead in the second. This week's No. 7 seed failed to serve it out in the eighth game then trailed 0-30 at 5-4 before finally getting the job done. The match's back-and-forth nature continued in set three, with Monfils breaking back down 0-2. The 44th-ranked Frenchman broke again at 4-4 before running into trouble with the match on his racket. He thwarted a break chance with an ace then capitalized on his first match point with a perfect serve-and-volley play. Next up for Monfils is Andreas Seppi, who downed Florian Mayer in straight sets.

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