Simon beats Benneteau to win Casablanca

May 24, 2008 at 6:45 PM
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CASABLANCA, Morocco, May 24 (UPI) -- Unseeded Gilles Simon beat fifth-seeded Julien Benneteau in Saturday's all-French final at the $575,000 Grand Prix Hassan II.

Simon, 23, defeated Benneteau 7-5, 6-2 for his third career ATP singles title and his first this year.

This was 26-year-old Benneteau's first-ever ATP-level final in 102 tournaments. His previous best result came in January when he advanced to the semifinals in Auckland. He also was a quarterfinalist in Las Vegas in March.

To advance to the final, Benneteau came from behind to beat Argentine Agustin Calleri 1-6, 6-1, 6-3. Simon, a qualifier, advanced via walkover when top-seeded fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew from their scheduled semifinal bout Friday with a knee injury.

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