Richard Gasquet snapped a title drought stretching back two-and-a-half years as he beat close friend Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-1 in an all-French final on Sunday at the Thailand Open. The 67-minute victory came partly because Simon fell victim to a knee problem, a day after playing what he called some of his best tennis to reach the final. He cut a hugely despondent figure afterwards.
Gasquet, 26, last tasted title success on clay in Nice in May 2010, and had lost three finals since then, including Estoril and Toronto this season. "I'm glad to win a title but it's tough to do it like this against another French player, a friend of mine," said the winner. "I have to be pleased to win but it was a little bit strange.
"I've had some tough matches this week, so this seventh title is a big one for me. I've played and lost some finals over the years since my last one, so it's always good to finally win one. It was a good win for me here, a big comeback week."
Li downs Schiavone in Beijing
Beijing: Chinese star Li Na thrashed Francesca Schiavone of Italy in straight sets on Sunday, progressing to the second round of the China Open in Beijing with ease and delighting the home crowd. Asia's top women's player dominated the match throughout, taking the first set 6-2 and the second 6-3.
Li's quick, aggressive style had her opponent on the back foot right from the start and the pressure got to the Italian, who hit 12 double faults.
Sania-Nuria advance to second round
Sania Mirza and Spanish partner Nuria Llagostera-Vives defeated Petra Martic and Heather Watson in the first round of the China Open. The fifth seeds beat the Croat-British pair 6-3, 6-4.