Gilles Simon and Bernard Tomic Claim ATP Titles in Recent Weeks
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Four 250 level hard court stops took place on the ATP Tour over the past 2 weeks, producing four different singles winners who will be proud of their accomplishments for vastly different reasons.
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Tour veteran Gilles Simon put together a surprising weak on home court in Metz, claiming his second title of 2018 7-6 6-1 against qualifier Matthias Bachinger. The win marks the first time Simon has won multiple ATP titles in a season since 2011. He dropped a set against Filip Krajinovic in the second round, but otherwise eased past Jiri Vesely, Richard Gasquet, and Radu Albot to reach the final.
Also a veteran, Bachinger took part in his first ever ATP final, coming through qualifying and then defeating Jaume Munar, Gregoire Barrere, Yannick Maden, and Kei Nishkori, his last two wins coming in three sets, with the stunning result over Nishikori one of the finest wins of his journeyman career.
The home nation swept the titles as Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin teamed up to defeat the Skupski brothers in the doubles final.
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Austrian #1 Dominic Thiem balled out on hard courts claiming a third title for 2018 with a 6-3 6-1 routine victory against Martin Klizan in the St. Petersburg final. Thiem won four matches, dropping just a set in Russia. His wins came against J.L. Struff, Daniil Medvedev in a third set tiebreak, and Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the final.
Klizan had a good tournament as well, claiming wins against Evgeny Donskoy, Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov, and Stan Wawrinka to reach the final, the final two wins coming in three set contests.
Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini teamed up to win the doubles title against Jebavy/Middelkoop.
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Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka claimed his first ever ATP title 7-5 2-6 6-4 against Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The 23 year old has overcome a rash of injuries and in his first ATP final he was clutch against the more experienced Herbert. Like the other winner on the ATP Tour this week, Bernard Tomic, Nishioka came through qualifying to reach the main draw. In the main draw his wins came against Denis Kudla, Denis Shapovalov, Cam Norrie, and Fernando Verdasco, with Shapovalov and Verdasco taking three sets to defeat.
Herbert defeated Dusan Lajovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Albert Ramos, and Alex De Minaur to reach the final, needing three sets in his last two victories, including a nip and tuck win against ADM. The result is Herbert’s second ever ATP final.
Salisbury/Mclachlan defeated Lindstedt/Ram in the doubles final.
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It’s been a long road back to this point for 25 year old Aussie Bernard Tomic, but he finally claimed another piece of ATP hardware winning his first title since 2015 6-1 3-6 7-6(7) against Fabio Fognini. Trailing in the tiebreak, Tomic had to produce both luck and skill to comeback for the win. He is now likely set to feature again at the higher level ATP tournaments as he had to come through qualifying where he dropped sets in two of his three matches, just to reach the main draw in this 250. In the main draw he edged Bradley Klahn and Lloyd Harris, then eased past Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Joao Sousa to reach the final.
Fognini has reached 4 ATP finals this season, he had a relatively smooth path against Ruben Bemelmans, Matt Ebden, and Taylor Fritz this week, though he did drop a set to Fritz.
Croatia’s Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig defeated Nedunchezhiyan/Krajicek in the doubles final.