Simon sails through in Lyon as top seed Tsonga goes out
Lyon: Second seed Gilles Simon kept alive his chances of reaching the World Tour Finals by beating fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-3 in Friday`s Lyon Grand Prix quarter-finals.
Top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, though, was knocked out 5-7 6-4 7-6 by wildcard Arnaud Clement in another all-French clash.
Clement survived a match point and a barrage of 27 aces to prevail after two hours 47 minutes against world number eight Tsonga.
Simon, bidding to qualify for the season-ending World Tour Finals in London next month, proved too strong from the baseline for Benneteau.
The world number 12 next plays fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra, who beat compatriot Marc Gicquel 7-6 6-4.
"This match is going to be very interesting since he has a 3-0 record against me," Simon told reporters. "It is hard to play against him indoors."
Llodra served 13 aces in his win over Gicquel.
Saturday`s other semi-final will feature Clement and third-seeded Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, who put out Frenchman Florent Serra 7-6 6-2.
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