Rotterdam World Tennis: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats David Goffin to lift 13th career title
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shrugged off the absence of his coach to defeat David Goffin 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 and earn a first career title at the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament.
Rotterdam: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shrugged off the absence of his coach to defeat David Goffin 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday and earn a first career title at the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament.
The French sixth seed, who lost the 2011 final to Robin Soderling, took just under two hours to beat Belgian third seed Goffin, playing his second final in as many weeks after losing in Sofia last Sunday to Grigor Dimitrov.
Tsonga earned his fourth victory over Goffin, who at least had the consolation of knowing he will be the first Belgian man to crack the world top 10 after his efforts in Rotterdam.
Tsonga, whose coach Thierry Ascione was not present for the final due to personal commitments, said he made many changes in his game for the indoor week.
"I changed my serve, I tried to work on my backhand and returns. I also changed strings. I changed a lot to try and improve my game."
Former world number five Tsonga, 31, will move back to 11th in the rankings on Monday after claiming his first ATP 500 series title since Vienna in 2011 when he beat Juan Martin del Potro.
"I'm just really happy, this title comes at the right moment," said Tsonga, who now has 13 career titles.
"I put a lot of effort into the comeback, it's all a huge reward for me. This win gives me expectation for the rest of season
"My emotions were inside me, but I was really happy. I felt bad for David, who is a good friend, I wish we both could have won."
Goffin came to the Netherlands having never previously won a match at the event.
"I'm disappointed but at the end I played some good tennis," he said. "I'm finally in the top 10 on Monday so I'm happy."
"I started the match well but Jo played better than me, especially at the start of the third set."
Kooyong president Adam Cossar said he was disappointed the event could not take place in January 2022 but hopes it will return in 2023.
Sinner entered the tournament ranked 13th in the world ad 11th in the race to the year-end Masters, an eight-player event which in Turin on 14-21 November.
At 3hr 45min it was the longest best-of-three match this year, the ATP said, eclipsing the 3hr 38min played by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona final in April.