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Tsonga rallies past qualifier to reach quarterfinals in Lyon

International BNL d'Italia - Day Two

ROME, ITALY - MAY 13: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France plays a forehand against Fabio Fognini of Italy in their first round match during day two of the International BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico on May 13, 2019 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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LYON, France (AP) Former champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied past Canadian qualifier Steven Diez on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals and extend his perfect record at the Lyon Open.

Tsonga, the 2017 champion, came within two points of losing but finally prevailed 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 on his sixth match point after 2 hours, 42 minutes.

The clay-court event serves as a warmup for the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.

“It was good for me to play a long match like this,” Tsonga said. “I haven’t played a match this long for a while. I am not playing my best level, but I am giving everything mentally and that gives me confidence.”

Tsonga will next take on top-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat lucky loser Tristan Lamasine 7-5, 7-5.

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