Gael Monfils’ comeback bid from a knee injury was cut short by Italian Andreas Seppi who upset the home favorite 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals at Metz, France earlier today. Seppi will seek a third career title Sunday against another Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The top-seed and defending champion Tsonga dropped his first set of the tournament but otherwise cruised past Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.
“I am happy about being in the final again here. I am rather positive about my game,” said Tsonga. “I think I have been playing better and better each match. Today I served really well throughout the match. I only had one gap that cost me the second set. It’s a satisfaction to finally have defeated Nikolay, my list of players I never beat is getting smaller.
“It’s always been tough against Andreas. It will be a difficult match. I believe I also lost against him. He is very solid and playing very well lately so I will prepare myself for a big fight.”
Seppi is not the only Italian in an ATP final this weekend. The flamboyant Fabio Fognini is in the St. Petersburg title match after trouncing Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 6-4.
Fognini will meet surprise finalist Martin Klizan who stunned top seed and former champion Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(11), 6-4, 7-6(3) in 3 hours, 49 minutes. Neither player has ever won an ATP title.
On the WTA circuit, breakout teen Laura Robson’s run in China ended at the hands of Su-Wei Hsieh who toppled the Brit 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to win the GRC Bank Guangzhou International. The 18-year-old Robson was trying to become the first Briton to win a WTA title since Sara Gomer at 1988 Aptos.
“She’s a really good player,” Robson said of Hsieh. “She’s very difficult to play. She changes everything so much – sometimes I couldn’t tell what she was going to do with the ball. It’s very difficult to get any rhythm against her.
“After I won the second set and led 3-0 in the third, she started playing well again and made the rallies longer, while I totally ran out of energy. I kept fighting but just wasn’t able to hit my shots as well as I had earlier in the match.
“But the more matches you play the more experience you get, and to play in a really tough final like this one in Guangzhou is a big experience for me.”
The 18-year-old Robson was still the first British women to play in a WTA final match since 1990.
And in the Seoul final, former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki seeks her first WTA title in over a year against Kaia Kanepi Sunday. Kanepi is playing her first event in three months after suffering from an Achilles injury.
“My season has definitely had its ups and downs because of my injuries, but last year was the same, and my whole career has been a little bit up and down as well,” Kanepi said after beating American Varvara Lepchenko in the semifinals. “It’s nothing new and I’m used to it.”
At the French Open this year, the Estonian Kanepi led Wozniacki 6-1, 5-1 before having to hold on to win in three.
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