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Simon tops Troicki for Sydney crown



Sydney, Australia (Sports Network) - Gilles Simon of France captured the Sydney International title with a straight-set win over Serbia's Viktor Troicki.

Simon notched a 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) victory in Saturday's final for his eighth career ATP singles crown. He has now won a title each of the last five years, having claimed the championship in Metz last year for his lone tournament triumph.

"It's always good to win the tournament," said Simon. "I mean, you never know if you're going to win more after, so I enjoy it every time. It's nice also for me to win here, to win some different tournaments. It's a tournament I like to play."

Simon did not lose a set this week and improved to 8-2 all-time in ATP finals. He is currently ranked 41st in the world, but trying to regain the form that lifted him as high as No. 6 in May 2009. A right knee injury in November 2009 slowed him and forced him to miss most of the first half of 2010.

"In tennis it's always a matter of confidence," added Simon, who improved to 5-0 lifetime against Troicki. "I could see tonight I was playing very nice tennis, but I played some bad games at the beginning of the second set. I wasn't doing it two years ago. I think it will come back with the match and with the victory. So that's why it's very good to win here."

Simon failed on four break-point chances against Troicki's serve in an attempt to close out the first set in the 10th game, but finally converted in the 12th game on his sixth set point.

Troicki then opened a 3-0 lead in the second set with a pair of breaks, but Simon followed by winning the next four games and the set eventually went to a tiebreaker, in which Simon prevailed.

"Right now I feel bit disappointed, but definitely it was a good week," stated Troicki. "Also a good match tonight. I feel I had a lot of chances that I didn't use, and obviously Gilles doesn't suit my game. For the past five matches already I haven't been able to figure out how to win a set."

Simon, who missed the Australian Open last year because of the knee issue, will open play next week in Melbourne against Yen-Hsun Lu.

Troicki, seeded fourth this week, fell to 1-3 in ATP finals. He won last year in Moscow for his maiden crown and last week reached the quarterfinals in Doha before losing to Roger Federer. At the Aussie Open next week, he will take on Russia's Dmitry Tursunov in the first round.

01/15 15:11:32 ET