Resurgent Tsonga downs Bedene to claim fourth title in Metz


FILE PHOTO – Aug 27, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France hits to Tennys Sandgren of the United States in a first round match on day two of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied from a set down to beat Aljaz Bedene 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 6-3 in the Moselle Open final on Sunday for his fourth title in the tournament.

Playing in his fifth title clash in Metz, the 34-year-old fired 19 aces and won 92% of points on his first serve as he overcame a wobbly start to seal a second title of the season following his triumph in Montpellier in February.

It was in Metz last year that world number 61 Tsonga had returned after a seven-month absence due to left knee surgery and the 2008 Australian Open finalist showed his battling qualities much to the delight of the home crowd.

Bedene, seeking his first tour-level trophy, edged a tight opening set but a determined Tsonga hit back in the second set to drag the contest into a decider.

With his powerful forehand firing on all cylinders, Tsonga raced into a 3-0 lead and never looked back, closing out the victory in two hours and 47 minutes.

Tsonga also became the ninth French champion in the last 11 editions of the tournament with 10 of his 18 ATP Tour trophies coming on home soil.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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