Tsonga out­plays Her­bert in all-french fi­nal at Mont­pel­lier

Tsonga, who missed en­tire 2018 due to in­juries, bagged his first ATP ti­tle since 2017

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - WORLD - Agen­cies

PARIS: Jo-wil­fried Tsonga beat fel­low French­man Pierre-hugues Her­bert 6-4, 6-2 to win the Open Sud de France in Mont­pel­lier and claim his first ATP ti­tle since 2017 on Sun­day. Her­bert, the sev­enth seed, was look­ing to snatch his maiden sin­gles ti­tle but Tsonga, whose 2018 sea­son was ham­pered by in­juries, only dropped four points on his serve.

The 33-year-old, in Mont­pel­lier cour­tesy of a wild card, had not won a tro­phy since he pre­vailed in An­twerp in Oc­to­ber 2017.

Her­bert, who won the Aus­tralian Open dou­bles ti­tle with Ni­co­las Mahut last month, had no so­lu­tions in a one-sided sec­ond set as Tsonga im­proved his headto-head record with his com­pa­triot to 3-0.

MEDVEDEV IS TOO STRONG FOR FUCSO­VICS

SOFIA: Big-hit­ting Rus­sian Daniil Medvedev thrashed Hun­gary’s Mar­ton Fucso­vics 6-4, 6-3 on Sun­day to win the Sofia Open ti­tle. Third seed Medvedev, who turns 23 on Mon­day, was at his dev­as­tat­ing best as he gave the hap­less Hun­gar­ian a bru­tal les­son to claim his fourth ca­reer ti­tle.

At­tack­ing the lines with ma­chine-like pre­ci­sion, Medvedev was in com­plete con­trol and broke the un­seeded Hun­gar­ian, who won his maiden ti­tle in Geneva last year, four times.

The world num­ber 16 con­verted his first cham­pi­onship point af­ter break­ing Fucso­vics’s serve to love.

HALEP, PLISKOVA OFF TO WIN­NING STARTS

PARIS:FOR­MER world num­ber ones Karolina Pliskova and Si­mona Halep won their open­ing rub­bers as the Fed Cup clash be­tween de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Czech Repub­lic and Ro­ma­nia ended 1-1 on Satur­day’s open­ing day.

Pliskova, her coun­try’s top player in the ab­sence of world num­ber two Pe­tra Kvi­tova, swept past Mi­haela Buzarnescu 6-1, 6-4 be­fore Halep dis­posed of Ka­te­rina Sini­akova 6-4, 6-0 to bring Ro­ma­nia level. The wins set up a mouth­wa­ter­ing clash be­tween Pliskova, ranked five, and num­ber three Halep on the in­door hard courts of Os­trava.

MOUTET WINS CHEN­NAI ATP CHAL­LENGER

CHEN­NAI: France’s Corentin Moutet, the sec­ond-seed, beat An­drew Har­ris of Aus­tralia 6-3, 6-3 in the sin­gles fi­nal Sun­day to win the ti­tle in Chen­nai Open ATP Chal­lenger ten­nis tour­na­ment here.

The French­man played con­fi­dently to dash the hopes of Har­ris, the con­queror of top-seeded Pra­j­nesh Gunneswaran on Satur­day.

The 19-year old left-han­der dis­played a range of ex­quis­ite shots, tremen­dous agility and ex­em­plary court-craft in sub­du­ing Har­ris, a for­mer ju­nior dou­bles cham­pion at the French Open and Wim­ble­don.

I’M 100 PER­CENT FIT, SAYS NISHIKORI

ROT­TER­DAM: Ja­pan’s Kei Nishikori in­sisted on Sun­day he is back to ‘100 per­cent’ as he re­turns to ac­tion af­ter a right knee in­jury forced a painful exit at the Aus­tralian Open last month.

The 29-year-old is top seed in Rot­ter­dam where he is look­ing for a sec­ond ti­tle of 2019 fol­low­ing a sea­son-open­ing tri­umph in Bris­bane. World No 7 Nishikori, who is no stranger to in­jury, saw his pursuit of a first Grand Slam ti­tle stall when he was forced to quit his Aus­tralian Open quar­ter­fi­nal at 6-4, 4-1 down to even­tual cham­pion No­vak Djokovic.

AFP PHOTO

France's Jo-wil­fried Tsonga de­feated com­pa­triot Pierre-hugues Her­bert 6-4, 6-2 in the fi­nal on Sun­day.

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