- Roger Federer to play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Paris Masters final
- Federer sweeps past Tomas Berdych in straight sets
- Tsonga has to battle past John Isner in three hour marathon match
- Federer has now reached the final of all nine Masters 1000 tournaments
Roger Federer will play home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the Paris Masters title after the pair secured contrasting semifinal victories Saturday.
Federer made it career win number 801 with a routine straight sets defeat of Tomas Berdych, but Tsonga was locked in a mighty battle with John Isner of the United States before coming through.
Tsonga had to fend off three match points in the deciding set before winning the tiebreak 7-3 to wrap up a 3-6 7-6 7-6 victory in just short of three hours.
Isner, best known for his marathon match at Wimbledon against Nicolas Mahut, has served notice of his promise towards the back end of 2011 and shocked fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal.
He took the first set on a single break and threatened in the middle of the second to take the match away from French No.1 Tsonga.
But urged on by a partisan crowd in the Bercy Arena, Tsonga forced a tiebreaker and then swept through it for the loss of a single point.
The third set was also a tense affair and Isner came back from 0-40 down to protect his service in the ninth game.
With Tsonga serving at 5-6 it was the giant American's turn to exert pressure and he forced three match points, all saved as the match went into a deciding tiebreaker.
Tsonga was the first to gain the mini-break and eventually closed it out with a forehand winner to earn a final match-up with Federer.
The Swiss maestro had been at his best to beat Berdych 6-4 6-3 in the opening semifinal to reach the final of the annual indoor tournament in Paris for the first time in his career.
A break of serve in the first game of each set was all the 16-time grand slam winner needed to end the challenge of Berdych, who surprisingly beat second seed Andy Murray in a grueling quarterfinal Friday.
"I really liked the way I played today," said Federer, whose win over Juan Monaco in the last eight saw him reach the 800 wins milestone.
"After winning my 800th match, reaching the final here for the first time and becoming the first player to reach the finals of the nine Masters is great," he told AFP.
Federer has slipped to number four in the world, but will be looking for back-to-back titles after winning in Basel last week.