ATP Erste Bank Open: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga taken to three sets by Austrian Dominic Thiem
Last Updated: October 18, 2013 9:55pm
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: The top seed had to battle hard to reach the semi-finals in Vienna
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battled his way past local wildcard Dominic Thiem 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7/3) to reach the semi-finals of the ATP Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
The top seed needed two-and-a-quarter hours to see off a player ranked 149 in the world and keep himself on course to clinch one of the four remaining spots in the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
"My game was pretty poor from the baseline but I served well. I'm a top 10 player and it's my job to win matches like this"
Facing a player ranked in the top 10 in the world for the first time in his career, Thiem turned in an inspired performance in front of his home crowd before being edged out in a final-set tie-break.
"He was a young guy playing in front of his home crowd with nothing to lose," said Tsonga. "I had to fight and stay strong.
"My game was pretty poor from the baseline but I served well. I'm a top 10 player and it's my job to win matches like this. Experience made the difference at the end."
Tsonga's next opponent will be Robin Haase, the Dutchman having impressively recovered from a set down to upset third seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-7 (4/7) 6-1, 6-1.
Meanwhile, Tommy Haas booked his place in the last four with a 7-6 (12/10) 6-3 victory over Radek Stepanek.
The German - a winner of the tournament back in 2001 - took a tight opening set after 63 minutes after saving four set points, then broke in the sixth game of the second to take a decisive lead.
"The tiebreak was very important, it was tough. Saving those set points was important, it helped me make the momentum swing for the second set," said the35-year-old.
With a place in the season-ending World Tour Finals still a possibility, Haas will now hope to beat another Czech to reach the final.
Lukas Rosol defeated Belgian Ruben Bemelmans 6-3 1-6 6-3 in his quarter-final to set up a first ever meeting against the second seed.