Richard Gasquet advances to Open Sud de France final after topping David Goffin in three sets


MONTPELLIER, France — Richard Gasquet overcame a second-set meltdown to beat top-seeded David Goffin 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 and set up an all-French final against Lucas Pouille at the Open Sud de France on Saturday.

Gasquet and Goffin dropped serve three times, but the fifth-seeded Gasquet had the edge by winning 79 percent of his first-serve points and hitting eight aces.

“David is one of the best players at the moment. He’s ranked seventh in the world, so it’s a great victory for me,” Gasquet said. “Even though it’s not a final, this is probably my best win here.”

This is Gasquet’s sixth straight final at easily his best tournament. He won it in 2013, ’15 and ’16.

“To find myself in the final for the sixth straight time is just incredible,” Gasquet said. “Now I need to recover properly to play a great final.”

Second-seeded Pouille was trailing 6-1, 5-5 when No. 3 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suddenly retired, prompting a sympathetic hug from Pouille and some unfair boos from the crowd.

Tsonga fears he has a tear in his left hamstring.

“A big [tear], a little one, I don’t know yet, I’m going to have to have more tests,” said Tsonga, who reached the Australian Open final in 2008. “I’ve reached a moment in my career where I need to make some choices about when I play.”

He is almost certain not to defend his title at next week’s World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Pouille, meanwhile, saved match points on his second serve twice in the ninth game.

Serving for the match, it was Tsonga’s turn to trail 30-40, and he saved a break point on his second serve. But Pouille took his next opportunity to level the set at 5-5.

Moments later, Tsonga called it quits, and Pouille carried his bag off court.

Gasquet is aiming for the 15th ATP title of his career, while Pouille tries for his fifth. He leads Gasquet 3-1 in their career head-to-heads and has won the past three.

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