Marseille, France, 23 February 2013 | AFP

Australia’s Bernard Tomic squandered five match points as he suffered a tight three-set defeat to French third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the ATP Open 13 quarterfinals in Marseille.

Tsonga eventually prevailed 4-6 6-3 7-6(10) and will play his first semifinal of 2013 when he meets French compatriot Gilles Simon for a place in the final.

Simon beat second-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, last weekend’s Rotterdam champion, who needed treatment on a thigh injury, 6-4 6-3 in his quarterfinal.

“I felt I was playing better than him, but there were some holes in my game,” said Tsonga after his match against 20-year-old Tomic, the world No.46.

“I am happy to get through because it was very, very tense.”

Earlier on Friday, Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov reached the last four with a 7-6(7) 1-6 7-5 victory over Gilles Muller, the big-serving player from Luxembourg.

Tursunov will face top-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych, who beat Polish seventh seed Jerzy Janowicz 6-3 6-7(0) 6-3 for a berth in the final.