OPEN SUD DE FRANCE 2013
Gasquet Captures Second Title Of 2013
by ATP Staff|
Richard Gasquet became the first two-time ATP World Tour titlist of the season on Sunday.
The third seed improved his ATP World Tour-best match record to 14-1 in 2013 with a victory 6-2, 6-3 over fellow Frenchman and eighth seed Benoit Paire in the Open Sud de France final, which lasted 69 minutes.
“I feel very happy and relieved to win here in Montpellier in front of my friends and family. Since the tournament has been here, it’s been an objective to lift the trophy. I was really disappointed last year when I lost in the quarter-finals. Defeating Gael [Monfils] in a difficult match earlier this week put me in the right direction towards the title.
“I realise this is my best season start ever and I just want to keep going and stay healthy. I am leaving tomorrow to Rotterdam, then Marseille, which is also an important tournament in France for me.”
Gasquet, who also won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open title (d. Davydenko) last month, improved to a 9-10 record in title matches. He received €74,000 and 250 Emirates ATP Ranking points. Paire, now 0-2 in finals, earned €39,000 and 150 Emirates ATP Ranking points.
Gasquet got off to a strong start, breaking Paire in the first and seventh games. The World No. 10 dropped just two of his service points in the 23-minute set. In the second set, there were three straight breaks of serve. Gasquet could not convert one match point on Paire’s serve at 3-5, advantage, but he did so at the second time of asking.
“The circumstances here are totally different for me, from the rest of the weeks on the tour, because I sleep at home in Bezier and I drive back and forth every day [40 minutes away]," said Gasquet. "It’s a totally different feeling than lifting a trophy in a different country far away. Also, I know and meet so many people I used to play with when I was younger. I feel I have played against the entire stadium!"
Gasquet won three three-set matches against Gael Monfils, Julien Benneteau and Jarkko Nieminen en route to his 19th final this week. This week, he had his serve broken 10 times and hit 28 aces in total.
“It’s a positive week overall for me,” said Paire. “I am a bit disappointed about today’s performance but Richard is a very strong player, with a very unique style, and there was nothing I could do today. I felt a bit stressed out before the final, due to the special circumstances of the match, but these are all positive experiences and I am learning a lot from them. I am very happy to have reached the final, I could have lost against Steve Darcis if it wasn’t for a miraculous let ball on the match point against me.
“It’s nice that it has happened here in Montpellier in front of my parents, who don’t often get to see me play. I grew up not far away from here and used to play all the small tournaments around here. I know I have improved a lot in my attitude and it was important this week to show my parents I am no longer the Benoit who goes crazy and breaks racquets. I really needed them to see how I have changed and I need to keep going. I feel I am on the right track if I stay calm and focused.”