Gilles Simon has become the fourth Frenchman in the Open era to win the men’s singles event at the Medibank International Sydney following a 7-5 7-6(4) win over No.4 seed Viktor Troicki at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. Former world No.6 Simon, currently ranked No.41 and on the comeback trail after a debilitating knee injury last year, didn’t drop a set all week as he joined compatriots Henri Leconte (1985), Yannick Noah (1990) and Guy Forget (1991) as Sydney champions. In front of an enthusiastic crowd on Ken Rosewall Arena, the men traded breaks early in the first set but each held serve through to 6-5 for Simon, though Troicki had to save set point in the 10th game. The Frenchman managed to break through on Troicki’s next service game, breaking to win the opener 7-5 after 57 minutes, leading the Serbian to smash his racquet to the ground twice as he headed to his chair. The outburst may have helped Troicki as he broke Simon’s serve twice to lead 3-0, hitting some blazing forehand winners in the process. However Simon recovered both breaks as Troicki’s frustration began to surface, so when he broke for 6-5 it was somewhat of a surprise. Simon got himself to 0-40 on Troicki’s next service game but the No.4-seeded Serbian got back to deuce, firing a second-serve ace at 30-40. Nonetheless Simon broke back and sent the set to a tie-break. Simon rode the momentum through the breaker and despite a spirited challenge from Troicki, 26-year-old Simon held on to improve to 5-0 against his Serbian opponent, triumphing after one hour, 58 minutes.
The victory was Simon’s eighth ATP singles title and means he has now won at least one title in each of the past five seasons.