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Thiem gears up for Roland Garros with Lyon title

Last updated on: May 27, 2018 00:19 IST

Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Austria's Dominic Thiem. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Imagesv

Dominic Thiem warmed up for the French Open by winning the Lyon Open title on Saturday with a gritty 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-1 victory over French veteran Gilles Simon in the final.

The 24-year-old was staring at defeat while down a set and a break but dug deep to prevail in two hours 24 minutes for his 200th tour match victory and his 10th ATP title.

"I'm super happy. I fought really hard for this title," Thiem said. "I'm really happy that I won. It's always something special. It's my tenth title, which is a great number. I have a little 'decima', I think."


Thiem has eight claycourt titles in his career and is seen as one of the few players capable of denying world number one Rafa Nadal a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros.

The Austrian snapped Nadal's year-long winning streak of 50 consecutive sets when he beat the Spaniard in the Madrid Open quarter-finals earlier this month.

His tenacity and endurance will serve him well at the claycourt grand slam that begins on Sunday.

Thiem was forced to play twice on Friday, coming through a three-setter in the semi-final against Dusan Lajovic after earlier completing his quarter-final against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez which had been suspended due to fading light the previous day.

The long hours on court appeared to tell as Thiem tamely capitulated the first set on Saturday but he found a way back into the match and did not look back.

Thiem, twice a semi-finalist at the French Open, will have a day's break before he begins his campaign at Roland Garros with a first-round match against unseeded Belarussian Ilya Ivashka.

"France has a very special place in my heart. I've always played great tennis here and I hope I will always play great tennis here," Thiem added.

Pavlyuchenkova battles past Cibulkova for Strasbourg crown

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova battled past a determined Dominika Cibulkova on Saturday to win the Strasbourg International title with a 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(6) victory in the final.

Victory ensures Pavlyuchenkova heads to the French Open full of confidence but the world number 31 was made to work hard by Cibulkova before she came through in three hours 35 minutes to claim her 12th WTA title.

Pavlyuchenkova is no stranger to Cibulkova and Saturday's clash was the pair's 11th meeting on the WTA tour.

Cibulkova, winner of seven previous matches against her Russian opponent, started the match strongly by edging a tight opening set in a tiebreak.

However, Pavlyuchenkova dragged herself back into the contest to force a decider.

She then saved two match points at the end of the third set and held her nerve in a see-sawing tiebreak to prevail.

Pavlyuchenkova fired 13 aces and 73 winners in the match to remind her opponents at the French Open of the qualities that make her such a dangerous player.

Seeded 30th at the claycourt grand slam, Pavlyuchenkova takes on Slovenia's Polona Hercog in the first round on Monday. Unseeded Slovakian Cibulkova meets 11th seed Julia Goerges.

The French Open begins on Sunday.

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