MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Former champion Tomas Berdych reached the Open Sud de France semifinals the hard way, saving two match points in a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 7-5 win against Filip Krajinovic on Friday.
The two players were meeting for the first time on the ATP Tour and made it a contest to remember.
It looked as if Berdych was going through in straight sets when he went a break up in the second set. But Krajinovic, a Paris Masters finalist in 2017 after a surprising run from the qualifying rounds, broke back, took the tiebreaker and then led 5-4 and 40-15 in the third.
Berdych, who is unseeded at the tournament he won in 2012, then turned the match around.
The 33-year-old Czech next faces seventh-seeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, who beat third-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (4).
Berdych beat Herbert in their only previous meeting, earlier this year in the quarterfinals of the Doha Open.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hit 18 aces but needed four match points to beat seventh-seeded Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-4 in an all-French quarterfinal.
Tsonga next plays Radu Albot of Macedonia, who won 6-2, 7-6 (2) against qualifier Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.
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