Moselle Open, Metz
Men’s Final: [CR10] Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. [CR17] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
Tsonga had memories of losing to Simon in 2013. Despite being good buddies, he wanted to avenge that loss. The first set was closely contested and would end in a tiebreak. Simon had numerous opportunities to get a break, but Tsonga hung tough. He was determined to win this match. Unfortunately for him, so was Simon. As often happens, some players play better from behind and Simon finally got the break in the second set, actually two, as Tsonga faltered momentarily. The match was even and the third set would test the nerves of both players. Who would succumb to the pressure?
The momentum had shifted completely in favor of Simon. He won the second set so convincingly; I thought he would pull it off in the third and win the title, denying Tsonga once again. Yet, Simon has shown that he can be mentally vulnerable when he has a lead. It’s a very subtle change, but it’s crept into his game since his return from the injury. Tsonga found a way to refocus, no doubt still very much motivated by his desire to avenge the loss of his title in 2013. Whatever the reason, Tsonga elevated his game in the final set and Simon’s game dropped just a tad. Tsonga took full advantage of the decline in Simon’s game and broke him twice to secure the victory 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-2 and the trophy. This gave Tsonga his first title of the season and his third Moselle Open trophy.