The French are dominating action at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakesh, Morocco, where fourth seed Gilles Simon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Benoit Paire were all winners in the quarterfinals Friday.
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – ATP 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – October 31, 2018 France’s Gilles Simon in action during his second round match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
It will be the first time since Simon, Tsonga and Julien Benneteau turned the trick in 2008 that there will be three Frenchmen in the tournament’s semifinals.
Simon needed two hours and 34 minutes to defeat Japan’s Taro Daniel, 6-4, 7-5, saving 12 of 15 break points along the way to earn a spot in the semis against Spain’s Pablo Andujar, who advanced when Jiri Vesely withdrew with a right toe injury. Andujar has won the tournament three times (2011-12, 2018), while Simon proved victorious in 2008.
Tsonga had a much easier time shutting down Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego, taking just 67 minutes to emerge with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph, thanks to winning 26 of his 29 first-service points.
Paire moved on to the semis for the second time in three years after defeating Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-1, 6-3 in 59 minutes.
U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship
No. 8 seed Sam Querrey continued his march toward a third final in Houston, saving three set points in a one-hour, 54-minute quarterfinal match to outlast Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4).
The American, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament, advances to play Chile’s Christian Garin, who is coming off a 6-3, 6-2 win over Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.
Only one half of the other semifinals is set after Norwegian Casper Ruud defeated Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-0 in the quarters, ruining the Spaniard’s 33rd birthday. His opponent will be either seventh seed Jordan Thompson of Australia or Columbian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan after their match was suspended due to rain tied 3-3 in the third set. Galan took the first set 6-1 while Thompson came back 6-4 in the second.
—Field Level Media