Tsonga sets up Federer final
Originally published on: 30/11/11 16:39
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set up his second clash with Roger Federer at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after beating Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5 to reach the final of the season-ending championships.
The Frenchman, who played Federer in his opening round-robin match, will face the Swiss for a second time for a shot at the biggest title of his career in Sunday’s final at 5:30pm.
Tsonga had failed to progress beyond the group stages during his only other appearance at the tournament in 2008, but rolled in to this year’s final after making amends for his defeat to Berdych in their sole previous tour meeting in Beijing earlier this year.
“It’s a good victory for me because I was really tight,” said Tsonga. “I mean, I didn’t play good tennis, but I won.”
The vanquished Berdych, meanwhile, had rallied back from the brink of defeat to David Ferrer in the evening session on Friday night, but admitted he couldn’t find the resolve for a repeat effort and had not felt 100% while contesting the semi-final.
“Since the morning I was feeling weak,” said the 6’5” Czech. “When I came here, I just see the doctor, get some pills, just had a little bit of a fever. So it’s tough to play in this condition with a guy like [Tsonga].”
Victory means the former Australian Open finalist will compete for his third title of 2011 in his fifth final of the year, and despite his three-set defeat to the world No.3 in the tournament’s opening match, Tsonga believes he can prevent the undefeated Swiss from claiming a record sixth year-end title.
“Roger is the best player for the moment indoors,” he acknowledged, “[but] I think I can join him on one match.”