Stan Wawrinka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga win titles heading into French Open
Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka warmed up for the French Open by retaining his home Geneva Open title on Saturday, beating Mischa Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The top-seeded Wawrinka clinched by breaking serve with a fierce forehand crosscourt pass to beat left-hander Zverev’s advance to the net.
In his native France, second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his first title on clay when he defeated Tomas Berdych 7-6 (2), 7-5 in the Lyon Open final while Sam Stosur rallied past fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to win the Strasbourg International and remain the top player in her country.
Wawrinka’s first title in 2017 is the 16th of his career, and the seventh on clay including the 2015 French Open. The Swiss is the No. 3 seed at Roland Garros, and first plays the 152nd-ranked Josef Kovalik of Slovakia.
Victory against the 33rd-ranked Zverev avenged a loss when Wawrinka last faced him, at the previous Swiss event on tour in Basel in October.
“I would have hated you if you had beaten me in two tournaments,” Wawrinka quipped to his opponent in the post-match ceremonies.
Tsonga dropped just three points behind his first serve, hit 13 aces, and saved all two break points to down his third-seeded Czech opponent.
Tsonga’s victory came a day before the French Open starts in Paris. No Frenchman has won the Roland Garros title since Yannick Noah lifted the Mousquetaires Cup in 1983.
Following the birth of his first child and a right shoulder injury, Tsonga played only four matches in two months before Lyon. He won back-to-back indoor titles in February in Rotterdam and Marseille, but had to withdraw from his second-round match in Madrid and from the Rome tournament because of his injury.
Gavrilova, who was chasing her first WTA title at the French Open warmup, would also have dethroned Stosur as the Australian No. 1 player with a win.
Stosur made the decisive break for a 4-2 lead in the decider after Gavrilova double-faulted. The 2011 U.S. Open champion served out to love to finish the nearly three-hour final. Stosur has been the Australian No. 1 for 450 straight weeks, since October 2008.
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