Bangkok: Frenchman Gilles Simon claimed his first title of the year after a 7-5, 6-3 win over Serbian Viktor Troicki in the USD 608,500 Thailand Open on Sunday.
The pair were evenly matched throughout the one hour, 15 minute encounter but it was the Serb’s mistakes that ultimately cost him his first career title.
Simon, the world number 10, put in another consistent performance and held his game together in a battle of backcourt slugging.
Serb Troicki looked to have the upper hand when he broke Simon at 4-4 in the first set, but the Frenchman broke back and surged ahead to go one up as Troicki’s powerful spin-loaded returns went off target.
Simon then broke in the sixth game of the second set after making what looked like a near-impossible return that the surprised Serb smashed into the net.
The win gave Simon his sixth career title and came after a month’s layoff due to a knee injury sustained at the U.S. Open.
“This was the victory I needed to finish off the year,” Simon told reporters.
“I’ve felt really good this week. It’s not easy to win a tournament, you have to be at your best for every match.
“I played a bad service game and missed some points. I had to fight back, that was very important. I broke him and took the first set and after that, it was much easier.”
Troicki vented his frustrations throughout the match and said he was disappointed with the outcome.
“I had a chance to beat a top 10 player and I didn’t take it,” he said.
“I was ahead and I made some good points in the first set, but after that I couldn’t get the points because Simon played very well.”