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By Chris Oddo

Gasquet, Montpellier, 2013 (February 10, 2013) -- Richard Gasquet’s easiest match of his Open Sud de France campaign came in the final, as the Frenchman breezed past Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 after fighting his way through three consecutive three-setters in the earlier rounds to reach the title match.

Gasquet, who moves to 14-1 on the year with two titles, only dropped two points on serve in the first set against Paire.  After he broke in the first and seventh games, Gasquet moved comfortably to the winner’s circle in Montpellier.

The World No. 10’s ninth career title featured some of his best returning. He broke in 21 of 47 games in four matches at Montpellier, including five breaks of serve in nine games against Paire.

Gasquet, who was born about an hour away from Montpelier in Beziers, France, relished the opportunity to share the victory with family and friends. “It’s great to win in front of my family in Montpellier, in front of my friends,” he said. “Three years ago I was told that a tournament was going to be held in Montpellier. It was something incredible. I knew that I would have a few years to win it, and it was one of my goals. I did it for my friends and family who are in the room.”

Paire, 23, was contesting his 2nd ATP final after winning two all-French battles with Gilles Simon in the quarterfinals and Michael Llodra in the semifinals. But his bid to become the second first-time title winner on the ATP Tour (Bernard Tomic is the first) was thwarted by an in-form Gasquet.

The red-hot Frenchman leads the ATP tour with 14 wins. In 2012 he did not reach the 14-win plateau until May.

Gasquet, 26, is now 9-10 in career finals. He has notched multiple titles in the same season for the first time since 2006.


(Photo Credit: AFP)

 

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