New father Gilles Simon won his seventh career title today in Metz. In the final, Simon defeated Russian qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-2.
“I am extremely happy about this seventh title,” Simon said. “I was not supposed to come here initially; my son was due to be born this week so logically I hadn’t entered any tournaments. Because I had been playing well, also in the Davis Cup preparation, I really wanted to try to compete and really wanted to come to Metz; I knew I could do something good.”
The former World No. 6 struggled with a right knee injury for the early part of the season, but was able to celebrate with his family. The right-hander was accompanied this week by his family including new son, Timothée, who was born on September 2.
“It hasn’t been an easy year because of the injury and I am really happy about this victory. During my time off, I strengthened my upper body to try to improve my serve, to serve stronger and for longer and this week. My serve is what kept me in the matches even if I wasn’t playing so well.”
Simon, who had never beaten Zverev in two tries, broke the Russian in the sixth game to grab the first set lead. The Frenchmen poured it on in the second breaking Zverev twice while winning the final five games of the match.
Simon finished with nine aces and won 84% of points on first serve.
Zverev, a beneficiary of a Richard Gasquet withdrawal in the semifinals, was playing in his first career ATP final.
“I was really excited to be in my first final, but he played really well,” the lefty said. “Not only solid from the baseline as he is usually, but also aggressive as well, he served unbelievably. I couldn’t do much today. I love France and French tournaments, I feel great here and for sure I will come back.”
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