Mathieu Rallies to Beat Seppi for Gstaad Title

Posted on July 15, 2007

Fifth-seeded Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu overcame a set deficit to defeat Italian Andreas Seppi 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5 to capture the Allianz Suisse Open title Sunday in Gstaad, Switzerland.

"This week I was fighting a lot, I even won matches without playing my best tennis. This is important and a great feeling," Matheiu said after winning his fourth career title.

Seppi served for the match at 5-3 in the third set after breaking the Mathieu serve in the eighth game. But the Italian was broken to love - double faulting at 0/40 - and also dropped his following service game. Mathieu then served out the match after fending off one break point to capture his second title of the year (Casablanca).

In the first set Mathieu failed to serve out the set at 5-4 and saw Seppi take the set in a tie-break.

"I got off to a good start as he was a bit nervous but then he really got into the match and started playing very well, taking advantage of his opportunities," added Mathieu. "Today I really had to give everything. After losing the first set I told myself that the match only started at that point and I tried to start over again, forgeting about the score and the heat.

Mathieu's 2007 match wins record of 33-14 already eclipses his previous best season of 28-29 in 2005 and last year's return of 23-28.

Seppi, currently No. 111 in the ATP Rankings, was appearing in his maiden ATP singles final. The 23-year-old was looking to become the first Italian winner in the Open Era (since 1968).

The last Italian to reach the Gstaad final was Adriano Panatta, who lost to Mexican Raoul Ramirez 7-5, 6-7, 6-1, 6-3 in 1976.

"Maybe I was a bit nervous playing in my first final and serving for the match," said Seppi. "I also think that Paul-Henri played very aggressively and solid during that game. At the end both of us could have won and I got pretty close. It is still a great week for me reaching my first final here and I've been playing very well."

Prior to this week, Seppi had not won back-to-back matches on the ATP circuit since 2006 Nottingham (l. to Bjorkman). He has a 6-4 record from four appearances in Gstaad. (ATP Digital Services)