Tsonga ends Youzhny run to seal Japan Open title
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:47
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga produced another “perfect” display in Tokyo to claim his fifth career title, and become the first Frenchman to win the Japan Open with a 6-3 6-3 win over Mikhail Youzhny.
The world No.7, who becomes the third Frenchman in as many weeks to win an ATP Tour title following Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon’s victories in Metz and Bangkok, beat compatriots Monfils and Richard Gasquet on his way to the final as he continues to fight for a place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
“I’m very happy to win here. For me, it’s good, because maybe I can play in the Masters event, so I’m really happy to win this tournament,” said Tsonga.
“When I play like this, it’s tough for my opponent. I’d like to thank Mikhail for this match”
“Today, I played perfectly like I did yesterday,” he added, a reference to his impressive display against Monfils in the semi-finals. “That’s it – when I play like this, it’s tough for my opponent. I’d like to thank Mikhail for this match.”
World No.49 Youzhny, who enjoyed a dream run to the final in which he beat GIlles Simon, defending champ Tomas Berdych and former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt, had the first break opportunity of the match, but missed with a wide forehand in game three.
Another forehand error saw the Russian drop his serve to Tsonga’s first break point in game eight, giving the Frenchman a 5-3 lead which he duly served out.
The second set went with serves until game seven, when Tsonga took a 0-40 lead in game seven, breaking at the second attempt when Youzhny netted a backhand. After that, the Russian had no reply as Tsonga broke again to seal victory.
It was the 24-year-old’s third title victory of the season, following wins in Johannesburg and Marseille back in February.
For Youzhny, his run to the final is set to boost his ranking up in the region of 15 spots from No.49 at the start of the week.
“He just started to serve very well in the third game, and he didn’t give me the chance to break him,” said Youzhny. “One chance at one-all and one break point, but he hit a second serve and played a very good forehand.
“Actually, it was a good week for me,” added the 27-year-old. “I played very well, I beat good players. I cannot say I played bad today – he played better than me.”