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Gasquet beats French compatriot in Thailand Open final

BANGKOK -- Richard Gasquet snapped a title drought stretching back two-and-a-half years as he beat close friend Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-1 in an all-French final on Sunday at the Thailand Open.

The 67-minute victory came partly because Simon fell victim to a knee problem, a day after playing what he called some of his best tennis to reach the final. He cut a hugely despondent figure afterward.

Gasquet, 26, last tasted title success on clay in Nice in May 2010, and had lost three finals since then, including Estoril and Toronto this season.

“I'm glad to win a title but it's tough to do it like this against another French player, a friend of mine,” said the winner. “I have to be pleased to win but it was a little bit strange.

“I've had some tough matches this week, so this seventh title is a big one for me.

“I've played and lost some finals over the years since my last one, so it's always good to finally win one. It was a good win for me here, a big comeback week.”

Gasquet, seeded second in Bangkok, said he knew nothing of Simon's condition until his opponent took treatment trailing a set and 4-1 down.

Simon, the fourth seed, said that he was not sure if he would be fit for Tokyo, which starts straight away.

“I'll have to see how I feel and how I practice there,” he said.

“I was playing some of my best tennis in the semifinals — in the final it ends like this,” said the disappointed 27-year-old, who has split with coach Thierry Tulasne to go it alone for the foreseeable future.

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France's Richard Gasquet, right, holds the winner's trophy next to his compatriot and runner-up Gilles Simon after the Thailand Open final in Bangkok, Sunday, Sept. 30. Gasquet beat Simon 6-2, 6-1. (AP)

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