|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France returns the ball during the men's singles semifinal match against Feliciano Lopez of Spain at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 6, 2012. Lopez retired due to injury.(Xinhua/Li Wen)
BEIJING, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- World No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga eased into the final of China Open for the first time after Spain's Feliciano Lopez retired from the semi-finals here on Saturday.
French third seed Tsonga took the first set 6-1 and was 4-1 up in the second when Lopez retired due to bad physical condition.
Tsonga has been put to the test this week, scraping by Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in a third set tie-breaker in the first round.
"During this week, my level goes better and better. I play maybe one of my best tennis here," said Tsonga.
"Even if today Feliciano was not in good shape, and even if he has a problem, I played well."
The right-hander is bidding to win his third ATP World Tour title this season when he faces either Serbia top seed Novak Djokovic or Germany's Florian Mayer in Sunday's final.
Tsonga owns a 2-0 career record against Mayer but trails Djokovic 5-7 in their all-time rivalry.
Talking about his potential final opponent Djokovic, who has defeated him five times in a row since 2011's Wimbledon semi-finals, Tsonga said, "Novak beat me many times. He is maybe the player who broke my dream. This time I will try to do better."
The 27-year-old Tsonga is through to the semi-finals for the second year in a row at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament, he fell to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic last year.