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Simon Savors First Title of 2009 At Thailand Open

img_0598At the finals of the Thailand Open, an ATP 250 tournament, Frenchman Gilles Simon, the second seed, took on Serbian Victor Troicki, seeded fourth.  The latter was attempting to win his first career singles title while the former whose season has been fettered by a knee problem was trying to claim his first title of the year.  It was Simon prevailing over Troicki 7-5, 6-3.

Both men started off strongly with neither having trouble holding serve.  Then, in the sixth game, Troicki committed two backhand errors leading to double break point for Simon.  But, with a couple of wide serves, Troicki forced return errors to get to deuce.  After erasing another break point, Troicki saved the game as Simon’s forehand went long for 3 all.  As Simon served at 4 all, his first excursion to the net was a forehand volley error which gave the Serbian his first break opportunity. Troicki converted when Simon’s crosscourt backhand landed long. With Troicki serving for the set at 5-4, Simon got lucky when a backhand shot hit the net and dropped for a winner.  Later, Simon manufactured a break point with a forehand crosscourt winner. Subsequently through relentless defense, Simon tracked down a probable winner which compelled Troicki to hit another stroke. That resulted in a forehand error by the Serbian.  Thus, Simon equalized the set at 5 all.  After taking a 6-5 edge, Simon cornered Troicki into multiple errors to fabricate double break point.  When Troicki flubbed another forehand, Simon secured the first set.  Unable to bottle his emotions, Troicki expressed his frustration by striking the net.

In the second set’s opening game, Troicki had a forehand touch the net, go over for a winner and break point.  But, with superlative serves, Simon got out of trouble.  Thereafter, Simon cruised on his service games.  With Troicki serving at 2-3, Simon got a break opportunity courtesy of a double fault.  Yet, this time, thanks to the net, Troicki was saved as Simon’s return clipped the tape and traveled long for deuce.  Still, Troicki’s relief was short-lived since he handed Simon another break chance with a forehand error on a neutral rally.  Once again, Simon’s speed made the difference. The Frenchman tracked down a dropshot then a lob by the Serb.  When on the next shot, Troicki made an overhead error, Simon had the break. Then, with a comfortable service game, Simon stretched his advantage to 5-2.  After Troicki had no difficulty holding serve, Simon came back with a strong service game of his own to seal the championship.

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