METZ, September 27, 2015
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga captured his 12th ATP career title, winning the final of the 13th edition of the Moselle Open on Sunday against Gilles Simon.
In the all-French-affair, which was the third final of the season between countrymen after Simon had defeated Gael Monfils at Marseille and Jack Sock had beaten fellow US-American Sam Querrey at Houston, Tsonga emerged victorious, winning 7-6, 1-6, 6-2.
In front of almost fully packed stands in the Metz Arena, Tsonga started with a couple of unforced errors in the early stages of the match, had to save six break points in the first five games of the encounter but took the opening set into the tie-break. It was Simon, who had the better shot selection, gaining a 5-2 lead but Tsonga rallied back and fired two punishing forehands to take the first frame after 65 minutes.
Simon, the tournament’s second seed, eventually broke for the first time in the second game of the second set and went 4-0 up in the following to take the match the distance when he served out after one hour and 40 minutes.
Tsonga, who appeared in his first final of the season, put a lot of pressure on his compatriot in most of the rallies of the final set, gaining the decisive break in the fourth game. The 30-year-old from Le Mans eventually converted his first match point to seal victory in two hours and 15 minutes claiming his third Metz crown. Tsonga also lifted the trophy here in 2011 and 2012.
Despite the defeat, the runner-up was also pleased with his performance. “The positive thing was my baseline game today. I felt that I am fit again and to be ready to play some good matches at the end of the season. Of course, the bad thing is that I lost this match today. It was possible to win. I had a lot of chances to take the opening set, but I couldn’t make it. When you play a guy like Jo, who is so consistent and confident, it is very difficult to win without capitalizing on your break points,” Simon analyzed and rates his chances to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals pretty low.
“Before the US-Open it was the goal to qualify for London, but it was a disaster over there and now the gap in terms of points has become huge. So I just want to play good tennis again. Overall, I had a good season and it was physically as well as mentally pretty hard for me. So I am just happy that I am in a good way on court again and I am positive for the next weeks,” said Simon, who will start the Asian swing in Tokyo.
By clinching the Metz title, Tsonga takes home € 80,000 and 250 ATP ranking points and keeps pace in his “Final Showdown” – bid for London. “My energy was the key to success today. It made the difference in the end. I pushed a bit more than Gilles and eventually I won the final. I am really happy with this third victory here in Metz. I like this tournament and it’s nice to come back here every year,” Tsonga and added that he will try to give his best in China the next weeks. Tsonga will compete in Beijing next.
Earlier the day, second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Edouard Roger-Vasselin claimed their first team title on the ATP World Tour, winning the doubles final 2-6, 6-3, 10-7 against US-Open champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in one hour and 15 minutes.
“We are obviously disappointed not to win the title this week, but we are pleased by reaching another final. Now we will go to Paris and on Wednesday we will start the Asian swing! Thank you for all the messages and the encouragement!” Mahut wrote on facebook.
The winners were understandably happy afterwards. “Thank you to Edouard for signing up with me at the last minute,” said Kubot. “It was a great final. The atmosphere and the organisation of the tournament was perfect. The most important thing was that we tried our best and while it was our first time together, I hope it’s not the last. I’m looking forward to coming back next year and playing with Edouard again.”