VIENNA, October 28, 2017
For the first time in the 43 year long history of the Erste Bank Open 500, two Frenchmen were in semi-finals action in Vienna. Both advanced to Sunday’s title match.
Lucas Pouille opened play by rallying past Kyle Edmund of Great Britain 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. Edmund, who has recently started to work with Swedish coach Fredrik Rosengren, missed six break point chances in the first set but recovered from a 0-4 deficit in the tie-break. He saved two set points to eventually seal the opening frame with his first chance when a Pouille forehand went long.
The first break of the encounter took place after one hour of play in the first game of the second set when the Frenchman benefited from an unforced forehand error of the 22-year-old Briton. Pouille seemed to find his rhythm now, putting more variety in his shots and pushed the match the distance after the 10th game.
Pouille was now aggressive on Edmund’s second serve and gained the decisive break in the fifth game of the final set with a nice forehand cross court winner. The World No. 25 secured victory in two hours and 17 minutes.
“It was a great match today. Kyle is a very good player, who played some unbelievable tennis. He was very aggressive with the forehand. I am happy that I found a way to get through and to play the final tomorrow,” Pouille was pleased with his performance.
Pouille will compete in his fourth title on the ATP World Tour, his first at ATP-500-level.
“It’d be great to win bigger tournaments but I will have to play a very good match to win here. It would be also nice to get into the Paris Masters with a victory.”
Tsonga Beats Kohlschreiber
Pouille will take on compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Sunday. The eighth seed from Le Mans celebrated his 11th victory over German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the pair’s 12th meeting.
Tsonga fired 19 aces, winning 93 per cent of his first service points. He gained his second and decisive break of the match in the 11th game of the second set with a forhand return winner to secure a7-6, 7-5 victory in one hour and 46 minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 28. Oktober 2017
Tsonga leads 2-0 in head-to-head records between the two Frenchmen. Their last meeting took place in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille earlier this year. Tsonga eyes his second title in Vienna following his triumph inside the Stadthalle in 2011. After Rotterdam, Marseille, Lyon and Antwerp, he could lift his fifth trophy of the season.
“I am very good friend with Lucas,” said Tsonga. “I am looking forward to a great match, as we respect each other. The better guy deserves to win.”
Tsonga, who finished runner-up to Andy Murray in Vienna last year, is leading the ATP World Tour with a 20-2 indoor record in 2017 and keeps his London hopes alive.