(Reuters) - Richard Gasquet earned his first title of the year and the 15th of his career after prevailing in an all-French battle with his friend Jeremy Chardy in the Libema Open final at s’Hertogenbosch, Rosmalen on Sunday.
The evergreen 31-year-old, who had not won a grasscourt title since the first two tournament wins of his career in Nottingham in 2005 and 2006, was at his best at the Dutch pre-Wimbledon tournament, wrapping up a 6-3 7-6(5) victory.
Gasquet usually has Chardy’s measure, having won four of their previous five meetings, and again he seemed to be in full control of the match with his Davis Cup colleague as he earned two breaks of serve to take the opening set.
Yet Chardy, a rejuvenated figure this season, hit back to serve for the second set but after spurning two set points, Gasquet regained the initiative, breaking back and winning the tiebreak to seal victory in just over an hour and a half.
In April, Gasquet joined an elite band who have won 500 tour matches and, both injury-free and having reached one final this season, he can now look forward to another deep run at Wimbledon where he has twice been a semi-finalist.
Reporting by Ian Chadband, editing by Ed Osmond