ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) - Third-seeded Richard Gasquet beat unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (4), 6-1 to win the European Open final on Sunday and clinch a 14th career title.
In his 27th career final, and only three weeks after his previous one, Gasquet’s experience showed as he won his second title of the year without being fully stretched. The 30-year-old Frenchman had more trouble in his semifinal match, where he came back from a set and 4-2 down to beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
“I took a lot of confidence into the second set,” Gasquet said. “It was a great match for me and I was the favorite to win, so it’s important for me.”
There was no repeat upset this time for the 24-year-old Schwartzman, who saved two match points when he beat top-seeded David Goffin in the semifinals.
“I am happy because the week was really good for me,” Schwartzman said. “I played a great first set and fought back. Richard improved a lot in the second set and played really well.”
Although he rallied from 4-2 down in the first set to force a tiebreaker, Gasquet stepped things up in the second set - where he did not concede a single chance on his serve and broke Schwartzman’s serve twice.
The 77th-ranked Schwartzman won the only title of his career earlier this year on outdoor clay in Istanbul.
“It’s my second final of the year and my first on indoor hard courts,” he said. “I’ve improved a lot. It’s really nice for me. I stayed focused.”
Gasquet won the final in Montpellier, France, in February, and lost to Tomas Berdych in Shenzhen, China, earlier this month.
The 19th-ranked Gasquet is bidding to get back into the Top 10.
A teen prodigy once tipped for the very top, Gasquet reached a career high ranking of No. 7 in 2007 and has finished four seasons in the Top 10.
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