Simon storms to Metz success
Gilles Simon defeated top seed and two-time defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets to win the Moselle Open final in Metz.
The comfortable 6-4 6-3 victory in an all-French showdown earned second-seeded Simon his first ATP title of the year.
Simon, whose summer has been plagued by whooping cough and its after-effects, only entered the tournament on a wildcard.
He had not faced a single break point in the previous two matches but lost his serve once in the first set to Tsonga and saved four other break point chances in the match.
Simon came into the match having lost his two previous finals, including at Eastbourne in June, but he came away with his first tournament win since his success on clay at Bucharest in April last year.
World No 8 Tsonga had the only two aces of the match but struggled more on his serve and was broken twice in each set as the 28-year-old from Nice reclaimed the title he won in 2010.
"I felt that I could take my chance and I'm very happy," said Simon. "I saw that Jo wasn't able to serve at his best."
His 11th career title draws him level with Guy Forget for career wins by Frenchmen, still far off the 23 won by Yannick Noah.