Zverev Defeats Gasquet For 2nd Title

Open Sud de France, Montpellier

Men’s Final: [21] Alexander “Sascha” Zverev (GER) vs. [22] Richard Gasquet (FRA)

Zverev defied the odds all week, showing that he was mentally strong enough to ignore the French crowd every time he contested a match against a French player.  Today would be his biggest emotional test, not only was it another French player, but it was Gasquet, the two-time defending champion.  This was Gasquet’s fifth consecutive trip to the final and he was the champion three times, so he is quite at home in Montpellier. Thus, Zverev would have to battle history, the crowd, and his nerves if he wanted to claim his second ATP World Tour singles title.

 

This was their first meeting, so there was nothing to fall back on except their own skills and the guidance of their respective coaches.  Would experience and finesse reign supreme or would youthful enthusiasm and power dominate? It was understandably a shaky start for both players as they adjusted to the occasion and each other’s game.  Zverev had opportunities to break Gasquet in the first service game of the set and took advantage of his opponent’s nervous start.  Yet, that break lead was short-lived as the defending champion fought back and broke the teenager in the fourth game to even the set.  The first set showcased each other’s weapons at their best and it was only fitting that it was decided in a tiebreak.

 

It was a valiant effort from both players, but a slight lapse in concentration in the tiebreak cost Gasquet the first set.  In the second set, our spotlight player elevated his game at a critical moment when his opponent wobbled and got the break and then served out the match and won 7-6(4), 6-3, gaining his second singles title.

CONGRATULATIONS to our spotlight player, Alexander “Sascha” Zverev!

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