Simons incredible campaign culminates in title win

first_img(Eds: Updating with more information and quotes of Gilles Simon and Kevin Anderson)By Amanpreet SinghPune, Jan 6 (PTI) Gilles Simons giant-killing spree culminated in a stupendous title win as he humbled second seed Kevin Anderson in straight sets to lift the inaugural Tata Open Maharashtra trophy, here today.The unseeded French player, ranked 89, tamed big-serving Anderson, ranked 14 in the world, 7-6(4) 6?2 in the summit clash, watched by a packed house at Balewadi Sports Complex.Simon, who was ranked six in the world at one stage in his career, had knocked out defending champion and third seed Roberto Bautista Agut before shocking top seed and world number six Marin Cilic en route the final.It is Simons first title since his win at Marseille in February 2015 and 13th overall.The remarkable ease with which Simon positioned himself to receive serves and returns, made a sight to watch. His effortless court coverage meant that Anderson was locked in long rallies more often, something which worked in favour of the French player.Anderson, the 2017 US Open finalist, struggled to execute his big serve consistently. His poor returns even on a humble service, sometimes even below 150km speed from Simon, made his job tough as unforced errors continued to flow from his racquet in the one-hour 36-minute match.”It was a great match, I dont know how I did it. To beat Anderson in the final is a great achievement for me. I managed to stay clam and play my game,” said 33-year-old Simon, who had lost to Anderson in three previous meetings.advertisement”My ranking is pretty low, I will work on that. I really had a good connection with fans. Already in the first round, they were happy for me. They loved the way I played. It helps to play your best tennis,” he said.Anderson, who has now lost 11 finals on the Tour, said what worked in Simons favour was his staying patient.”He incorporated the style, the tactics of match against Cilic. His defence was very well. I found it difficult to attack him. His first serve was coming at just 160, it just threw me off,” said the South African.”It was a disappointing for me. Partly he played very smart and partly I didnt execute my game. He was very patient today. In previous matches I was aggressive at time, today I could not do it,” said Anderson, adding that he would like to improve his record in finals and making the season-end Finale was his “big goal” for 2018.With Simon controlling the pace of the game with his superb returns, long rallies were the order of the day. The longest game in the opening set was the fourth when Simon went down 0-40 but saved four break chances after five deuce points.Anderson was serving big but Simon did not let him dominate, using his amazing retrieving skill. Points were initially long when Simon served but the South Africans serve came under pressure in the fifth when the French man attacked his rivals second serve.Two service return winners by Simon made it deuce but Anderson wriggled out of tight situation by winning consecutive points. However, he was not spared in the seventh with Simon finding an exceptional forehand winner on the second breakpoint.Despite not having a big serve, the Frenchman did not lose a single point on his serve in the sixth and eighth games and the break in between put him ahead 5-3.Anderson got a chance to get the break back when Simons backhand sailed over the baseline at 30-30 and he grabbed that with a passing backhand winner as Simon charged the net.Both the players held the next two games easily, forcing a tie-breaker.Simon trailed 1-3 in the tie-breaker but soon led 6-4 and nailed the set with a forehand winner which he produced after a sensational 39-shot rally.Anderson saved three break points in the second game of the second set but an unrelenting Simon broke his rival in the sixth and eighth to seal the win.Simon lost only three points in his four service game in the second set while Anderson continued to struggle with his errors. His misery finally ended when he hit a backhand wide to give Simon his first title win of the season. PTI AT ATK ATKlast_img read more

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Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United: match preview

first_img 17 Perez Premier League 27 Button The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football Lineups Newcastle 14 Hayden 8 Shelvey Venue Amex StadiumLast season Brighton 1 Newcastle 0Referee Mike DeanThis season G26 Y113 R10 5.12 cards/gameOdds H 5-4 A 5-2 D 2-1BRIGHTONSubs from Button, Balogun, Bong, Burn, Kayal, Izquierdo, Andone, Gyökeres, Molumby, Knockaert, Bruno, MarchDoubtful NoneInjured Pröpper (hamstring, unknown)Suspended NoneDiscipline Y57 R4Form LLLLDLLeading scorer Murray 11NEWCASTLESubs from Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Barreca, Diamé, Shelvey, Kenedy, Muto, JoseluDoubtful NoneInjured Lascelles (virus, May), Longstaff (knee, Aug), Lejeune (knee, Oct), Almirón (hamstring, August)Suspended NoneDiscipline Y53 R2Form WDLLWWLeading scorer Pérez 10 50 50 10 Diame 13 Gross Substitutes 33 Burn 7 Brighton Off target 8 Newcastle 2 Brighton On target 1 Newcastle 7 9 Read more 12 Dubravka Brighton have now played 11 hours of football since Solly March’s equaliser against Millwall in the FA Cup quarter-finals in March. You could watch the entirety of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy in that time and still have 48 minutes to spare. So with Chris Hughton’s side struggling to tread water, the manager would surely be unable to refuse if Rafael Benítez offered him a vital point before kick-off. If they lose, though, and Cardiff beat Fulham then Brighton will just be safe on goal difference and sleeping with the fishes down in the Championship next season becomes an even more distinct possibility. Graham SearlesSaturday 5.30pm BT Sport 1 13 Muto 11 Ritchie Match stats Brighton & Hove Albion 4 Duffy 6 Stephens 26 Darlow 10 Andone 7 Kayal Corners Goal attempts 11 Knockaert Share on Facebook 30 Bernardo 22 Yedlin 3 Dummett Brighton news 19 Izquierdo Foulscenter_img 3 Bong 4 Ki 19 Manquillo NEW BRI 18 Fernandez (s 46′) Share on LinkedIn 5 Schar 9 Rondon 30 Atsu (s 73′) 23 Barreca Substitutes 20 March Newcastle United Share on Twitter 1 Ryan Topics 15 Kenedy (s 33′) 17 Murray 2 Saltor 8 Bissouma (s 49′) 9 Locadia Match previews 7 4 Reuse this content NEW50BRI50% (s 81′) Possession Share via Email (s 66′) Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger 5 Dunklast_img read more

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