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Benneteau ousts Tsonga in Open 13

MARSEILLE, France -- Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost 7-6 (11), 5-7, 7-6 (3) to fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau at the Open 13 on Saturday.

Benneteau will try to win his first title in his fourth career final. He'll play 2009 finalist Michael Llodra of France, who beat Mischa Zverev of Germany 6-1, 7-6 (3).

Benneteau has lost finals at Kitzbuhel and Casablanca on clay, and at Lyon's indoor tournament. He has won five doubles titles, including with Tsonga at last year's Shanghai Masters.

Tsonga served 23 aces to Benneteau's 13 on the indoor court.

Although the second-seeded Tsonga looked the stronger player in the third set, Benneteau opened up a 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker.

Tsonga saved two match points with aces, but the eighth-seeded Benneteau closed it out on when Tsonga returned long.

Tsonga, a former Australian Open finalist, served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken by Benneteau, who took the tiebreaker after having saved set points at 8-7, 9-8 and 10-9.

Benneteau served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but a wild forehand enabled Tsonga to level, and he then held to go up 6-5. Tsonga put pressure on Benneteau's next service game, and broke to level the match.

Llodra, meanwhile, served 13 aces and broke Zverev's serve three times. He won the match when Zverev returned the Frenchman's second serve long.