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Tennis

Gasquet beats Paire in Montpellier final

Photo: GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO/EPA

Richard Gasquet defeated fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire to win the Open Sud de France.

Frenchman Richard Gasquet beat compatriot Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in the Open Sud de France final for his second title this season.

"It's fabulous to win two titles in a season, especially so early," Gasquet told Canal Plus television. "I'm very motivated for the remainder of the season."

Gasquet broke Paire twice for a 5-2 lead and took the opening set when a backhand return from Paire sailed wide. The third-seeded Frenchman dropped serve once in the second set, but broke Paire three times. He clinched victory when Paire netted a backhand.

It is Gasquet's ninth career singles title. He also won the Qatar Open in January.

"I knew I could rely on my experience. He was playing his first final in France - it's always a tricky situation," Gasquet said. "Benoit is a very dangerous player. He has a very special game that can be disconcerting."

Paire was appearing in only his second final on the main tour. He was runner-up in Belgrade last year, losing in straight sets to Andreas Seppi of Italy.

"I rushed a lot of my shots," Paire said. "I thought about the final in Belgrade where things went bad for me. When I lost the first set 6-2, I told myself `it's happening again.' I think the result is a bit normal. You must play a few finals to know how it feels."

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