|Posted on November 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM|
Tomas leaves the court after falling to Tsonga in the semi-finals
BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2011
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga enters the final; ousts Tomas Berdych in semis
by James Buddell | 26.11.2011
Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will meet fourth seed Roger Federer for the third straight Sunday in the title match of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Federer beat Tsonga in the BNP Paribas Masters final in Paris two weeks ago and also in Group B round-robin play in London.
Tsonga, who will be looking to improve a 3-7 record against Federer, defeated seventh seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday night, in front of a capacity 17,500-strong crowd at The O2, to avenge his China Open loss in Beijing last month.
Tsonga was aggressive from the start, dictating the early passages of play in the pair's second meeting. Berdych saved two break points from 15/40 at 1-2, but two games later could not deny his French opponent at 30/40, when he was caught off-balance on a forehand - one of 13 unforced errors in the set. One break of serve proved to be enough for Tsonga, who hit five winners and dropped two points on first serve in the 34-minute opener.
Tsonga continued to exert pressure in the first game of the second set, but could not convert two break points, when Berdych hit an unreturned serve and Tsonga struck a forehand long. At 3-3, a poor forehand and a double fault by Berdych gifted Tsonga the break, but Berdych broke back immediately to 30.
At 5-5, Berdych mixed up his tactics by occasionally rushing the net, but Tsonga managed to find a way to pass the Czech. On Tsonga's second break point opportunity, Berdych hit a forehand into the net. He went onto notch his 10th Top 10 win of the season with a hold to 15, helped by two aces.
"He was playing really solid and served well," said Berdych. "He just didn't give me chance at all. I had [one] break point [at 2-3] in the first set. If I made it, [it] could be different. I'm pleased with this week. It was a great experience for me. I'm going to try to do all that I can... to come here again."
Berdych, who committed 30 unforced errors against Tsonga, ends his season with a 53-22 match record, having won Group A with a 2-1 mark. He is the first Czech player to finish in the Top 10 in back-to-back years since Petr Korda in 1991-92. Berdych reached nine semi-finals (or better) in 2011, highlighted by lifting the Beijing title (d. Cilic).
Tsonga beats Berdych to book Federer final