Richard Gasquet among Frenchmen excelling at Montpellier

By The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 11, 2017 at 6:45 AM
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The home-court edge continued to be a huge factor in the Open Sud de France at Montpellier with three players from France leading the charge into the semifinals on Friday.

Two-time defending champion Richard Gasquet fought off a stiff challenge from Kenny De Schepper, outlasting his countryman 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

The third-seeded Gasquet needed two hours, 16 minutes to finish off De Schepper and move closer to his bid for a third straight tournament title.

Next up for Gasquet is unseeded Benoit Paire, who won his opening game before Germany's Dustin Brown was forced to retire from the match because of a lower-back injury.

Paire had advanced to the quarterfinals by upsetting fifth-seeded Feliciano Lopez while Brown KO'd No. 1 seed Marian Cilic.

In the other half of the draws, second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earned his spot in the final four with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Russia's Daniil Medvedev.

Tsonga, ranked 14th in the world, has dropped only 10 games in his first two matches and will face fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany in the semifinals.

Zverev reached his first semifinal of the year with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 over Jeremy Chardy of France. Zverev lost his lone matchup against Tsonga, at Shanghai in October.

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