The French and Russian red, white and blue stripes were flying high in Indy as France’s Gilles Simon and Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov met in the finals at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. Although ranked 25th in the world and seeded second at this tournament, Simon’s career has flown under the radar compared to countrymen Richard Gasquet or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. By beating the defending champion Tursunov in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, perhaps Simon will make tennis fans take notice on this continent.
The finals can best be summed up as Simon being opportunistic with his break point chances while Tursunov allowed the myriad of break point opportunities he had fall to the waste side. On a few occasions, Simon had his back against the wall, down triple or double break point; yet, he came up with the goods to hold his serve. Despite the Russian’s noticeable advantage with a powerful serve and blazing groundstrokes, it was the Frenchman with the beguiling frame who came out on top in most of the long rallies in a match primarily played from the baseline. Simon needed just one break in each set to prevail.
Despite this event being loaded with Americans, their progress was stopped at the semifinals with James Blake, the top seed, falling to Tursunov and Sam Querrey eliminated by Simon, with the Frenchmen saving 16 break points. The big test for Simon will come this week at the Rogers Cup where he will face Roger Federer in the second round should he win his opening match. With Federer returning to the circuit after his heartbreaking lost to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, this will be a test for both players.