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Nalbandian and Tsonga reach Paris final

  • Story Highlights
  • Defending champion David Nalbandian reaches Paris Masters final
  • Nalbandian beats Nikolay Davydenko in three sets at Bercy indoor arena
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga eases past James Blake in other semifinal on Saturday
  • Tsonga and Nalbandian will fight it out for final Masters Cup place
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(CNN) -- David Nalbandian continued his battling title defense at the Paris Masters with a three set victory over Russia's Nikolay Davydenko to reach the final on Saturday.

Nalbandian continued his heroics in Paris with a battling victory over Davydenko.

The Argentinian won 6-1 5-7 6-4 and will face home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who eased past James Blake of the United States 6-4 6-3 in the second semifinal.

That result ended Blake's hopes of qualifying for the season-ending Masters Cup and made sure seventh-ranked Juan Martin del Potro will be in Shanghai.

Nalbandian and Tsonga have a straight shootout on Sunday for the eighth and final qualifying spot.

The six others already qualified before Saturday were Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Davydenko, and Andy Roddick.

Australian Open runner-up Tsonga continued his fine late season form with an easy win over Blake, breaking his service early on the way to taking the opening set.

The second set followed a similar pattern and just to be sure, Tsonga claimed the Blake serve again in the ninth game, clinching victory on his first match point with a thumping forehand.

Earlier, Davydenko, a former Paris Masters champion, dropped service in the seventh game of the deciding set, leaving Nalbandian to serve out for victory.

He won on his second match point when sixth seed Davydenko's return sailed long.

Davydenko lost the first set in 28 minutes but picked up his game in the second set, improving his serve and pinning Nalbandian to the baseline with his forehand.

Nalbandian found himself under pressure on serve, down 6-5 down in the 12th game.

He double-faulted and lost the second set when he hit the ball into the net after Davydenko had returned his weak second serve.

But showing the resilience which has marked his performances at Bercy, the eighth seed stepped up his game to win the decider.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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