Bucharest, Romania – Frenchman Gilles Simon captured his third Bucharest title by beating Italian Fabio Fognini, 6-4, 6-3, Sunday in the final of the Nastase Tiriac Trophy tennis event.
Simon, the top seed, has won the Bucharest crown in each of his last three visits, including 2007 and 2008. He's 15-1 all-time in the clay court tournament and 4-0 lifetime against Fognini.
This was the 10th career championship for Simon, who has a title each season for the past six years. This win netted him $95,000.
"I played a great match today. It was very difficult; Fabio played well and I had to run a lot today," Simon said. "You really have the feeling that you are never in control of the game. I'm always happy when I win a tournament like this because sometimes people think it will be easy when you're the No. 1 seed, but on the court it's very close every time. I'm very proud to win this tournament for the third time and to bring the trophy back home."
The 12th-ranked Frenchman had previously reached semifinals this year at Brisbane to start the campaign and Montpellier in February, before another run to the final four last week in Monte Carlo, where he fell to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Fognini, who was sidelined earlier this year with a foot injury, played in his first ATP final. He entered this event with a match record of just 2-5 in 2012.
"I'm upset because I lost the final," Fognini said. "I had my chances, but he has played more finals than me and is more experienced. Maybe next time I will have the chance to win the tournament. It's been a good week. I'm happy that I played great tennis; it was just my third tournament after the injury."