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Simon claims Maharashtra Open for his first title in nearly three years

By Nicholas McGee
Gilles Simon

Pune, January 6: Gilles Simon will hope his victory in the Maharashtra Open is a sign of things to come as he put a highly disappointing 2017 behind him to beat Kevin Anderson in the final.

The Frenchman slipped out of the top 50 for the first time since 2005 last year, posting a 16-25 record for the season.

But he has rediscovered his form in Pune and clinched a first title since February 2015 with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory over world number 14 Anderson.

Simon to face Anderson in final

However his aim for a grand double fell apart and he and his compatriot Pierre Herbert lost 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (5-7) to Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop in the doubles finals.

Simon defeated Roberto Bautista Agut and Marin Cilic en route to the final but was surprised by his achievement in overcoming Anderson, who had won the previous three meetings between them.

"It's the first time I managed to beat him," Simon said. "I still don't know how I did it. I'm really, really happy I was able to make it."

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    Story first published: Saturday, January 6, 2018, 21:00 [IST]
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