Simon Bounces Back With Tata Open Maharashtra Title

Gilles Simon (photo: Tata Open Maharashtra)

PUNE, January 7, 2018

World No. 89 Gilles Simon beat the top three seeds at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune to win his first ATP World Tour title since the Open 13 Marseille in 2015.

Despite losing his first three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against second seed Kevin Anderson, Simon triumphed in Saturday’s final, breaking the big-serving South African three times to secure a 7-6, 6-2 victory in one hour and 36 minutes.

“It was a great match, I think a great performance. I never beat Kevin before so to be able to beat him in the final is a great achievement for me,” said Simon, who finished the season outside of the Top 50 in the ATP Rankings for the first time since 2005, is projected to soar back into the Top 60 on Monday.

“It’s so hard to feel comfortable against him because he has a huge serve and is really controlling the game, but I managed to stay calm on my side and to just play my game.”

Despite the loss, it was another strong week for Anderson, who could have equaled his career-high ranking of No. 10 if he won the title.

“Just really want to congratulate Gilles. It was a really tough match. You really made life difficult for me out there today,” Anderson told.

Haase/Middelkoop Triumph In Doubles

Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop won their first title as a team, denying Simon wins in both singles and doubles — the last player to do that at India’s ATP World Tour 250 event was Xavier Malisse in 2007. The Dutch team won 7-6, 7-6 against Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Gilles Simon. The encounter lasted one hour and 39 minutes.

“The score was actually how the match was. Sometimes you can have a close match, but you feel you are better. Today we didn’t feel so much better, that’s for sure,” Haase told after his third doubles crown.

“I will never forget this for the rest of my life. This is my fifth title and I will come back here next year because you have to experience this. They’re celebrating tennis and this is what I like. Great crowd,” Middelkoop added, who lifted his fifth tour-level trophy.