Benoit Paire will face Pablo Andujar in the final of the Grand Prix Hassan II after beating fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The omens were not good for Paire as he had never taken set off his hard-hitting opponent in their three previous encounters, but progressed to Sunday’s showpiece with a 2-6 6-4 6-3 success in Marrakech.
Tsonga was too hot in the first set and led by a break in the decider before the world number 69 held on to turn things around and earn a famous win. “He played well in the beginning and I was struggling with the sun,” said Paire. “I’m very happy that I won today because this is the first time I beat him.”
Waiting on the other side of the net will be three-time champion Andujar, who was far too good for Gilles Simon. He beat the fourth seed 6-1 6-1 in a match that lasted just 74 minutes and is the favourite to make it four this weekend. The 33-year-old, who beat British number one Kyle Edmund to lift the trophy 12 months ago, having first triumphed in 2011, is hoping for more of the same on Sunday.
“The tournament is very strong this year with a lot of good players,” Andujar said. “My goal is to win tomorrow. After my injury I’ve always said that my goal is to be healthy. Of course I want to win tomorrow and I will give my best.”