Gilles Simon earned one of his best wins on the young season defeating the red hot Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-2 in a mild upset in Marseille. Del Potro had just crushed his way to the Rotterdam title over the week and was the defending champion at the event. But the 28-year-old thrilled his home fans with the victory.
“I tried to make winners all the time but I made a lot of mistakes and he got control of the match,” Del Potro said. “He made fantastic passing shots and very good returns…he was too solid for me.”
Simon now meets countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in one Saturday semifinal. Tsonga saved five matchpoints in a harrowing 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(10) win over Bernard Tomic.
Both Tsonga and Simon have won Marseille before, in 2009 and 2007, respectively.
In the early semi top seed Tomas Berdych battles the rejuvenated Dimitry Tursunov who’s playing in his first ATP semifinal since June of 2011.
“Playing in qualifying for the third tournament this year, I really didn’t expect this,” Tursunov said after a 3-set win over Gilles Muller. “I wasn’t really looking that far ahead and I think that kind of helped me, I was just trying to play one match at a time.
“It’s a long way to go to get back to No. 20, but it’s definitely good for me to get back to winning, especially indoors, which is usually my favorite surface. I need to work to try and improve my game, try to stay healthy and be able to play like this week in, week out.”
The 28-year-old Tursunov is ranked No. 119 this week.
In Buenos Aires, top seed David Ferrer is comfortably into the semifinals where he’ll face countryman Tommy Robredo. Ferrer has won five of seven in this match up of 30-year-olds. Nicolas Almagro is in the other against Stanislas Wawrinka in the one-handed backhand showdown.
Those three aren’t the only Spaniards playing final four tennis on Saturday. At the Memphis Indoors Feliciano Lopez ended the run of American Jack Sock, beating the 20-year-old rising star 6-4, 6-3. Lopez will play tonight’s Michael Russell-Denis Istomin winner. In the first semifinal it will be Kei Nishikori, who ousted top seed Marin Cilic, against Marinko Matsovic.
On the women’s tour, in the Dubai finals it’s Petra Kvitova against Sara Errani. Kvitova knocked out former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki while Errani eased past countrywoman Roberta Vinci.
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