The Dutch pair wins after beating Herbert-Simon in straight sets 7-6, 7-6
Simon beat Anderson 7-6, 6-2 to be crowned as the Singles champion
It was a mixed day at the office for singles world no. 89 Gilles Simon as he was crowned as the Tata Open Maharashtra singles champion but lost the Doubles final with his partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert to the Dutch pairing of Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop in straight sets 6-7, 6-7 in an entertaining final held at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium here in Pune on Saturday.
In the doubles final, it was a France vs Netherlands encounter as Simon was again in action, teaming up with his countryman Pierre-Hugues Herbert to take on the second-seed Dutch pairing of Haase and Middelkoop. Both the pairs had lost their first set of the competition but had won the next six sets to make it to the final. It was the Dutch pair who started the match on the front-foot as they were both serving well, winning 28 out of the 41 service points compared to Frenchmen's 26 out of 41.
Haase looked to put the disappointment of getting knocked out of the singles in the quarterfinals as he showed great coordination with his partner Middelkoop, the pair winning the first set with a scoreline of 7-6 after the tie-break. The second set also saw a similar story as both the pairs showed fight and determination to keep their chances alive. However, when it mattered the most, the Dutch pairing again won the tie-break (7-5) to win the last set 7-6 and with it, the doubles title.
Herbert-Simon served well in the second set, hitting three aces but Haase-Middelkoop won one point more on the return than their opponents which proved to be the difference in the end.
Earlier, the unseeded Simon won his first ATP 250 World Tour event after having last won in Marseille in 2015. Simon beat Kevin Anderson in the final match of the Tata Open Maharashtra in straight sets 7-6, 6-2 to win the title. The 33-year-old Frenchman produced some amazing tennis throughout the tournament as he beat defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinal and then caused an upset beating top-seed and world no. six Marin Cilic in the semifinal.
In the final, the world no. 89 kept his great run going by starting the first set by matching world no. 14 Anderson’s serving as he broke his serve in the seventh game to take a 5-3 lead. Anderson struck back to break Simon’s serve in the 10th game to take the set into a tie-break. It was Simon who kept his nerve and won the first set 7-6. Even though Anderson hit a total of 10 aces in the first set, but his return let him down as Simon (38%) had a slightly better return percentage than Anderson (30%).
In the second set, it was neck-and-neck until the fourth game (2-2). Frenchman broke Anderson's serve and it seemed like the 33-year-old was up for it as he went on to win the second set 6-2 and the match, not giving the South African any chance of finding a way back into the match.
This was Simon's first victory against Anderson after having lost on three previous occasions to the South African.
The 33-year-old Simon seemed ecstatic with the victory, he said, "I did not have a great season last year but I am very happy and excited to have started the season by winning the title here in India. This is my first appearance here in India and I am delighted to have won in front of a great crowd which has always supported me from the first day."