Bedene Bounces Back To Reach Metz Final
Bedene to face Tsonga in final
For the third straight year, Aljaz Bedene will contest an ATP Tour championship match after beating Benoit Paire 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 at the Moselle Open on Saturday.
The 30-year-old stormed from a set down to overcome Paire, converting four of six break points throughout the one-hour, 31-minute clash. Bedene has defeated three French players in four matches en route to the final and will need to overcome a fourth home favourite if he is to capture his maiden ATP Tour crown.
The World No. 76 will meet three-time winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the championship match, following the Frenchman’s 7-6(6), 7-6(4) victory against Lucas Pouille. Bedene lost his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter against Tsonga at Roland Garros in 2013.
Entering the semi-finals, Aljaz Bedene had claimed each of the six sets and 31 service games he had contested. But those two streaks were quickly ended by Paire, who won each of his 14 first-serve points and attacked well with his forehand to earn the opener after 35 minutes.
In the second set, Paire’s serve and forehand suddenly began to misfire. Multiple double faults and forehand errors assisted Bedene, who played with consistency from the baseline to charge into a 5-0 lead. The Rio de Janeiro semi-finalist forced a decider after exactly one hour, converting his first set point with a powerful serve to Paire’s forehand.
“Benoit is a tricky player. He was really serving well in the first set,” said Bedene. “He served a few double faults at the beginning of the second and then I started to play, serve and feel better and I felt more like previous matches. Overall, I feel very good.”
Bedene rode the momentum into the third set, breaking immediately to establish a lead. The four-time tour-level finalist extended rallies, playing with depth to force Paire into crucial errors before claiming victory with a cross-court forehand passing shot.
Paire was aiming to extend his three-match unbeaten record in ATP Tour semi-finals this year. The World No. 23 has compiled a 32-23 tour-level record in 2019, highlighted by title runs in Marrakech and Lyon.