The finals of Japan Open, an ATP 500 event, pinned Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the second seed, against Russian Mikhail Youzhny, a surprising finalist. Both men were trying to win their fifth career title and become the first conqueror of this tournament from their country. Tsonga came out on top 6-3, 6-3 over Youzhny to claim his third title of 2009.
With U.S. Open reigning champion Juan Martin Del Potro ousted in the first round, Tsonga as the highest remaining seed had a load on his shoulders. In addition, the Frenchman had his work cut out for him considering how well Youzhny had been playing. The Russian defeated third seed Gilles Simon, fifth seed and defending champion Tomas Berdych and eight seed Lleyton Hewitt. Moreover, Youzhny was parched for a trophy with his last being in January 2008. After each person held his opening service game, Youzhny had the initial opportunity to break when Tsonga sent a forehand wide. Yet, despite difficulties, Tsonga pulled off the game with expertly located serves and a forehand volley winner for 2-1. By steadying his backhand, up to that juncture, Youzhny kept his opponent on his heel. But, after Tsonga captured a service game at love for 4-3, Youzhny failed to connect on first serves and with a couple of backhand unforced errors was in a double break point hole. When the Russian misfired on the forehand up the line, the Frenchman had a 5-3 lead. Then at 40-0, Tsonga threw in an ace to wrap up the set.