Bangkok - French players continued to dominate proceedings at the Thailand Open, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils lining up a semi-final clash through Friday victories.
In addition, 74th-ranked Nicolas Mahut was bidding to join his compatriots in the final four, playing third seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
Second seed Tsonga, this year's Australian Open finalist against Bangkok top seed Novak Djokovic, showed devastating form in a 55-minute rout of Austrian Juegen Melzer 6-3, 6-2,
The Frenchman ranked 20th broke for 5-2 on a Melzer double-fault in the second set before serving out the victory to love. Along the way he struck 12 aces and committed just 11 unforced errors.
The fourth-seeded Monfils was equally solid as he beat German Philipp Petzschner 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.
Tsonga is lining up a re-run of the Australian Open final if he and Djokovic reach the Sunday title match.
The Serb world number three was facing off later against Swede Robin Soderling, who has put first-round losses at the Olympics and US Open well into the background.
Tsonga and Monfils have never played an ATP match, though Tsonga won a lower-level match with his compatriots five years ago at home.
"We are friends but we will treat each other like any other opponent," said Tsonga, who called the upcoming clash "a good show, a very good match." (dpa)