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Berdych, Tsonga win in straight sets at Open 13 semis

Associated Press

2/23/2013 11:02:17 AM

MARSEILLE, France -- Top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic cruised past Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 6-1 to reach the final of the Open 13 on Saturday.

Berdych will seek his first title of the season against third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-2 in an all-French semifinal. Berdych led the Czech Republic to the Davis Cup title last year.

"I wanted to step on the court and be strong, because you never know what could happen with him," Berdych said of Tursunov. "Finally, I'm able to play well here. I came here many times but I didn't do well. I still have one more to go, so I want to finish in the best possible way."

The 2010 Wimbledon runner-up didn't lose a single point in his service games in the first set, while breaking Tursunov twice to take control.

Berdych then saved the only two break points he faced at 4-0 in the second set, before clinching the victory with his ninth ace.

Tursunov is a former top-20 player who has dropped to 119th in the rankings. He was playing in his first semifinal since June 2011.

In a match between former Open 13 champions, Tsonga hit 15 winners to 10 for Simon in the first set, breaking his opponent's serve twice.

Tsonga then won the last five games of the second, converting his second match point when Simon netted a forehand.

"My goal is to snatch him by the throat and to not let him breathe," Tsonga said about his game plan for Sunday's final.