Alexander Zverev won his second career ATP Tour title with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over three-time defending champion Richard Gasquet in the finals of the Open Sud de France. Zverev would later team up with brother Mischa to win the doubles title, becoming the first player since Lleyton Hewitt in 2014 to win the singles and doubles at the same event.
Zverev takes first set in a tiebreak
There were immediate chances for the German to break, but a wild backhand saw him bypass the first. A couple of authoritative forehands saw him take the second chance to grab the early lead, but that same forehand produced an error in the fourth game, handing the Frenchman the break back.
The remaining eight games went the way of the server with little resistance except for the eighth game, Gasquet getting to deuce. The set would be settled in a tiebreak, which Zverev took the immediate lead with a sparkling backhand winner down the line.
The teenager jumped out to a 4-1 lead and all but secured the tiebreaker when Gasquet double faulted, a 6-2 lead and four set points now on the side of the German. After saving two set points, the Frenchman had no answer for a wide serve-crosscourt backhand combination that wrapped up the opening set.
Zverev takes title with strong second set
The powerful hitting of Zverev was taking its toll on the four-time champion, but he was able to cope well as the second set was moving along routinely, service games competitive, but no breaks or break points achieved by either player.
The lone chances fell to Zverev as he had 15-40 on Gasquet's serve and when the Frenchman dropped a forehand just wide, it was the 19-year old who would serve for the title. Gasquet fought gamely, erasing three match points, but on the fourth another forehand missed, giving Zverev his second career title after winning in St. Petersburg last fall.
"I'm very happy to win my first title of the year," said Zverev. "Obviously it was a very tough tournament, only one straight-sets match in the whole tournament, today, and it was not an easy one. I think it was a high-level match and I'm happy to get the win."
The German continued, "It's great to win singles and doubles. I'm very happy the way we played. We only dropped one set in the tournament. I think it was a very successful tournament for the Zverevs."
"It was a difficult match," said Gasquet. "It was close during the first set. I had a bad start, he quickly broke me at the beginning of the match. It’s not easy to break such a good player twice. I managed to come back, but he broke again." He added, "I made a few mistakes. He hits the ball really hard on both sides and has a pretty incredible service. He deserves his victory today. But overall I’m happy about this week."