METZ, September 25, 2016
Lucas Pouille claimed his maiden title on the ATP World Tour, winning Sunday’s final of the Moselle Open 7-6, 6-2 over top seed Dominic Thiem.
The 22-year-old Frenchman, who also emerged victorious from the only previous meeting between the two in Monte Carlo last year, was the more consistent player from the baseline and more solid at the net. Thiem saved three set points in the 10th game, led 4-1 in the tie-break of the first frame but Pouille took the opener with a service winner in 51 minutes. The Frenchman set the tone early in the second set, breaking serve in the first game as well as in the seventh and served out in style with his 10th ace after 78 minutes.
“Winning the tie-break of the first set was very important and probably the key of winning the match,” Pouille told Tennis TourTalk afterwards.
With the win over the world number 10, Pouille notched his fifth top 10 victory of the season, claiming his 30th match win overall in 2016. He extended the recent success of Frenchmen in Metz. Pouille has become the seventh home player to lift the trophy since 2009, which literally isn’t an easy task, as it weighs 17 kilogrammes.
“It was still more difficult to beat Dominic on the court than lifting the trophy afterwards, but it was really heavy. I didn’t expect that. When they gave it to me, it was like ‘wow’, how am I going to do this? It was funny but I am very happy to hold it in my hand.”
With Pouille and Alexander Zverev in St. Petersburg, two youngsters have become first time winners on the ATP World Tour within minutes of each other. Asked if the future is arriving, he totally agreed with the statement.
“Yes, I think we can say so. Nick (Kyrgios) claimed his first title this year, Dominic took even four. I have won mine now here. I think we are starting to come to the top and it is good to see that. My goal is to win another title this year, getting closer to the top 10 and winning as many matches as possible.”
Beijing, Shanghai, Stockholm, Vienna and Paris-Bercy will be the remaining tournaments for the new world number 16 on Monday.
“Lucas deserved to win the title today. He was the better the player,” Thiem was a fair loser. “If I won the first set, maybe the match would go into another way but he served and returned well. He put a lot of pressure on me and my volley was pretty weak today. That’s why he won.”
Thiem is impressed by the good run of the Frenchman this year.
“Lucas has had an amazing year so far, reaching two Grand Slam quarterfinals and another Masters 1000 semis. I think we are going to see him soon in the top 10. Nonetheless, it was a good week for me, taking a lot of positives with me.”
Thiem will leave Monday to kick-off the Asian swing at the Chengdu Open, where he accepted a wild card.
South Americans Claim Doubles Title
Earlier the day, Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos celebrated their third team title of the season, winning 6-3, 7-6 over third seeds Mate Pavic and Michael Venus. The encounter lasted 69 minutes.
“We played a great level of tennis today,” Zeballos was satisfied with the performance of the South American duo. Peralta and Zeballos have lost two sets en route to the final, rallying past second seeds Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin in the semis.
“We gained a lot of confidence from beating a couple of good teams here. Overall, it has been one of my best seasons in my career so far,” told the 31-year-old Argentine, who is also ranked world number 61 in singles. Zeballos will now return to Argentina, continuing the season in South America.