(February 10, 2013) In an all-French affair, Richard Gasquet defeated Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 to capture the Open Sud de France in Montpellier on Sunday. It’s Gasquet’s second tournament win of the year improving his 2013 record to 14-1. He’s the first two-time ATP World Tour titlist of the 2013 season. He also won the Qatar Open.
For Gasquet it’s his ninth ATP World title overall.
“I feel very happy and relieved to win here in Montpellier in front of my friends and family,“ said Gasquet. Since the tournament has been here, it’s been an objective to lift the trophy. I was really disappointed last year when I lost in the quarter-finals. Defeating Gael [Monfils] in a difficult match earlier this week put me in the right direction towards the title.
“The circumstances here are totally different for me, from the rest of the weeks on the tour, because I sleep at home in Bezier and I drive back and forth every day [40 minutes away]. It’s a totally different feeling than lifting a trophy in a different country far away. Also, I know and meet so many people I used to play with when I was younger. I feel I have played against the entire stadium!
“I realize this is my best season start ever and I just want to keep going and stay healthy. I am leaving tomorrow to Rotterdam, then Marseille, which is also an important tournament in France for me.”
Despite the loss, Paire looks at the tournament as a positive: “It’s a positive week overall for me. I am a bit disappointed about today’s performance but Richard is a very strong player, with a very unique style, and there was nothing I could do today. I felt a bit stressed out before the final, due to the special circumstances of the match, but these are all positive experiences and I am learning a lot from them. I am very happy to have reached the final. I could have lost against Steve Darcis if it wasn’t for a miraculous let ball on the match point against me.
“It’s nice that it has happened here in Montpellier in front of my parents, who don’t often get to see me play. I grew up not far away from here and used to play all the small tournaments around here. I know I have improved a lot in my attitude and it was important this week to show my parents I am no longer the Benoit who goes crazy and breaks racquets. I really needed them to see how I have changed and I need to keep going. I feel I am on the right track if I stay calm and focused.”
Marc Gicquel and Michael Llodra took the doubles crown to become the eighth all-French pair to win the doubles title since 1987. Six of the last eight years have seen all-French teams win the doubles.
“Now I can say that I won all the French tournaments – except Roland Garros – as Montpellier was the one I was missing Llodra said. “My objective in doubles is to beat Guy’s [Forget] doubles record of 28 titles. I won’t stop until I beat him. I am very happy about this 24th title. I’m not sure how many different partners I’ve had, but I am very happy to have won with my friend ‘Marco’ here in Montpellier. He’s a great guy and we had a blast all week.”