France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Belgian David Goffin in Rotterdam on Sunday to clinch the final of the World Tennis Tournament. It was an overall successful tournament for Tsonga, which saw him record his 401st career win in the final.
Tsonga, currently ranked World No. 14, had not won a title since Metz in September 2015 and had to fight back in this final after falling behind early, ultimately taking the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. The 31-year-old Tsonga also defeated Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinal to earn his milestone 400th career win.
“I’m really happy. The last couple of months I put in a lot of effort to come back to this level,” said Tsonga after the match. “It gives me new expectations for the new year.”
26-year-old Goffin, meanwhile, showed moments of brilliance in the final, dominating early and putting Tsonga’s back against the wall. It only served to awaken the Frenchman though, as he put together successive forehands and returns to smother Goffin in the final two sets. Goffin will become the first Belgian to reach the ATP Top 10 when the new rankings are released.
“Of course I’m disappointed, but I played some good tennis and will be in the top 10 on Monday,” said Goffin.
Both players put forth a commendable performance and should be ones to watch for the remainder of the season. Tsonga especially impressed, breaking through after a 17-month drought to re-assert himself in men’s singles tennis. In a year that has so far seen 30+ year olds Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Venus Williams reach the final of the first Grand Slam of the season, Tsonga may be just where he needs to be.