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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Benneteau to meet Llodra in all-French final

Benneteau to meet Llodra in all-French final

February 21, 2010 08:56 IST

Eighth seed Julien Benneteau will meet fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra in the final of the Marseille Open.

Benneteau ousted compatriot and title holder Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 on Saturday and last year's runner-up Llodra, who is unseeded, overcame German Mischa Zverev 6-1, 7-6.

Tsonga and Benneteau, who has yet to win an ATP title, battled for almost three hours before the world number 39 finally triumphed.

"I had many chances but missed all of them," world number nine Tsonga told reporters. "I made too many unforced errors.

"He was physically weakened and had it been a five-set game he probably couldn't have escaped from me."

Second seed Tsonga squandered four set points in the first tiebreak, won 13-11 by Benneteau, after having served for the set at 5-4.

Benneteau then broke early in the second and served for the match but Tsonga fought back and grabbed three games in a row to draw level.

Both players held serve in the third set until Benneteau pulled away in the tiebreak and sealed victory on his third match point after Tsonga saved the first two with aces.

"I collapsed once at the end of the second set and I didn't want to collapse again in the third so I kept on fighting and I staked my all on the last tiebreak," said Benneteau, 28.

Llodra recovered from a lapse in concentration after easily winning the first set in 21 minutes against Zverev.

The 29-year-old Frenchman, who defeated top seed Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals, was broken in the middle of the second set but drew level when Zverev served for the set at 5-4.

Llodra then sealed victory in the tiebreak.

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