October 2, 2009

Tsonga returns to Thailand Open semifinals

Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came from behind Friday and earned a semifinal berth at the $608,500 Thailand Open.

Tsonga, who is the tournament's No. 1 seed, got past qualifier Marco Chiudinelli 6-7 (9-7), 6-3, 6-4 in their quarterfinal match. He blasted 20 aces and had his serve broken once in the match. He pulled off the win by breaking Chiudinelli's serve once in each set.

Tsonga heads into Saturday's semifinals against No. 4-seeded Viktor Troicki, who topped John Isner 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Troicki faced just one break point against Isner.

The other semifinal pairs second-seeded Gilles Simon against No. 6-seeded Jurgen Melzer. Simon also dropped his first set before beating Evgeny Korolev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Melzer defeated Andreas Beck 6-4, 6-2.

Simon won just one more point than Korolev (78-77) over the match with the only advantage coming in his three service breaks to two by Korolev.

Melzer dominated Beck with 10 aces and didn't face a break point.

Saturday's semifinals winner move to the tournament title match Sunday. The Thailand Open champion will be given $100,100.