Marseille, France – Top seed and former champion Jo- Vilified Tsonga and former U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro were a pair of quarterfinal victors Friday at the Open 13 tennis event. Tsonga and del Potro will clash in Saturday's semifinals in Marseille.
The 2009 Marseille titlist Tsonga fired 14 aces and handled fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 7-5 on the indoor hardcourts at Palais des Sports. It marked the 200th match win of the former Australian Open runner-up Tsonga's career.
A fourth-seeded del Potro, meanwhile, also notched career win number 200, as the 6-foot-6 Argentine slugger snuck past fifth-seeded French favorite Richard Gasquet 7-5, 7-6 (7-5). Del Potro pumped 15 aces at Gasquet before advancing in just under two hours.
Del Potro was last week's Rotterdam runner-up to the great Roger Federer.
Tsonga and del Potro will meet for a fifth time, with the towering Argentine holding a 3-1 advantage in their lifetime series. The Frenchman, however, did win their last meeting in Vienna last season.
Also, Michael Llodra is now one win away from reaching his third final here in four years after he downed 20-year-old qualifier and fellow Frenchman Albano Olivetti, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. The big-serving match featured 27 aces, including 14 for the winner, who held his serve throughout on Day 5.
The 388th-ranked Olivetti stunned second-seeded American Mardy Fish on Thursday.
The left-handed Llodra titled here in 2010 and was the Marseille runner- up in 2009.
The newest Marseille champ will collect $120,000.