Tsonga tramples Youzhny to win Japan Open

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 12, 2009 03:54 hrs

TOKYO: Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga outgunned Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-3 to win the Japan Open with a dazzling mix of guile and brute force on Sunday.

The world number seven and tournament second seed took 69 minutes to blow Youzhny off court and capture his third title of the year and fifth of his career.

"I will celebrate in the plane to Shanghai with a beer and maybe a little dance," Tsonga told reporters with a huge grin.

"I played perfectly today, like I did yesterday.

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"When I play like that it's tough for my opponents," added Tsonga, who won his semi-final against compatriot Gael Monfils by the same scoreline on Saturday.

Tsonga broke through in the eighth game of the first set, forcing Youzhny to smack a forehand wide and the Frenchman took the set with a 201kph ace into the corner.

Another fierce forehand pressured Youzhny into netting a backhand to give Tsonga the crucial break for a 4-3 lead in the second.

The Russian had a sniff of an opportunity at deuce in the next game but Tsonga ruthlessly slammed the door with two of his 11 aces, the first on a second serve.

Tsonga chased down a Youzhny drop shot, dinking the ball cross court to bring up match point, which he converted with a high volley off a clever sliced approach into the corner.


He celebrated by climbing into the players' box to hug his entourage as a packed Tokyo crowd bathed in sunshine after a week of typhoon rain roared in appreciation.

Champions League T20

A first title since winning in Marseille in February moved Tsonga closer to securing a place in the season-ending World Tour Finals in London, exclusive to the world's top eight.

"I don't know how to explain why I play so well on the important points," shrugged Tsonga, who made 75 percent of his first serves in a one-sided final.

"It's just a feeling. On the big points I didn't miss all week. I know I play well indoors, so if I can continue playing like this it would be great for me to go to the ATP Finals."

Victory at the Tokyo hardcourt event was worth $300,000 to Tsonga, who now has a 5-1 record in ATP Tour finals.

Youzhny offered no excuses after losing his 10th career final.

"I can't say I played badly but he was too good," said the Russian world number 49, a four-times ATP Tour winner.

"He served great. He hit four serves and we changed ends. I had no chances to break."

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