Simon After Horrendous 2017 Starts New Year with ATP Pune Title
by Jeremy Davis | January 6th, 2018, 4:34 pm
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Whatever Gilles Simon’s off-season consisted of, we’ll take one of those.

The 33-year-old Frenchman, who posted a struggling 16-25 record and finished outside the Top 50 in 2017, won his first tournament of the year on Saturday at the ATP event in Pune, India, in the final upsetting No. 2 seed Kevin Anderson 7-6(4), 6-2 to win a first title in more than two years.

“I never beat Kevin before so to be able to beat him in the final is a great achievement for me,” Simon said. “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.”

Simon during the week toppled the Top 3 seeds, also taking out defending champion and No. 3 Roberto Bautista Agut, and top-seeded Marin Cilic.

He was 0-3 against Anderson entering the final.

“I still don’t know how I did it,” he said. “I’m really, really happy I was able to make it.”

The 31-year-old Anderson dropped to 3-11 in career finals and was looking for a first title since 2015.

“Just really want to congratulate Gilles,” Anderson said. “It was a really tough match. You really made life difficult for me out there today. But he’s a terrific player. Obviously last year was a little tough for you but obviously you’re back in good form so I wish you all the best for Australia and the rest of the year.”

Simon, ranked No. 89 entering the event, improved to 13-6 in career finals, winning a first since Marseille in 2015.

“I didn’t have a good season last year,” Simon said with a laugh. “I will try to do better in 2018. I will try to work on it to go back to where I was before.”

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