Gilles Simon positive about season after ‘confidence boosting’ Pune Open win
Gilles Simon became the first-ever champion of the Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament -- the country’s only ATP 250 Series event that has moved to Pune from Chennai this year.
The singles champion, who defeated Kevin Anderson in straight sets in the final, acknowledged that it was unique coincidence that he was quite old to have won the first edition of the event in Pune.
“I am 33 and a bit old to have won such a tournament. Normally whenever a tournament is organised for the first time, there are some problems but here there were no problems here from the first day,” Simon said.
The Frenchman was elated with this win as he is trying to climb back in rankings from his present position of 89, and a title so early in the season bodes well for him.
Controlling the game against Anderson is very difficult as he has a huge serve that helps him dictate pace, but Simon was happy that he could play his own game in the final.
“It is so hard to be comfortable against Anderson as he has this huge serve and is controlling the game (with it). But today I managed to stay calm on my side and managed to play my own game,” Simon said after the match.
He termed it as a great achievement for him to beat Anderson for the first time and that too in the final of an ATP tour event.
Simon said he will try and use the confidence he has gained in this event to do well through the season. “I didn’t have a good year in 2017 and from here I will be going to Australia and hope to do well there too. There is a long season ahead and I would love to get back to the position I was in a year back,” said Simon.
Anderson said he could not execute his plan and lacked the patience to tackle Simon’s counter punching style of play.
“ I had a very disappointing day on office today bit it is very important to stay positive. I have had three good matches at Abu Dhabi and three here so that is good preparation for the season ahead.
“In recent months I have lost three finals, so that is something I want to set right in the season, I hope to reach many more finals and hopefully win as many of them as possible,” said the South African.
Asked what were his targets for the year, Anderson said he wants to do well in the ATP Masters events and Grand Slams and hopefully get into the top eight so that he could play the season-ending ATP tour finals.