METZ, France — Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will aim for his third straight Open de Moselle title when he plays Gilles Simon in an all-French final on Sunday, with both players chasing their 11th career title.
Tsonga rallied past eighth-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals Saturday. Second-seeded Simon defeated Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 7-6 (2) to stay on course for his first title of the year.
Tsonga's playing in his first tournament since a knee injury forced him to drop out of his second-round match at Wimbledon. It's his first final since winning the Open 13 in Marseille in February.
Just like in Friday's quarterfinals, Tsonga took time to find his range and dropped the first set. He looked leg-weary and was broken in his first service game, then struggled to hold his next game as Mayer pinned him to the back of the court with his looped returns.
"It's thanks to the fans that I managed to hang in there and also because Florian Mayer has a little bit of a weakness in terms of endurance," Tsonga said. "It will be a different matter against Gilles. I noticed that he is playing very well."
Tsonga leads Simon 5-2 overall. All of Tsonga's titles have been on hard courts, half of Simon's on clay.