Local favorite Paul-Henri Mathieu claimed his second ATP title in as many weeks by defeating Gustavo Kuerten 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in front of a capacity crowd of almost 7,000 in the final of the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon Sunday.
Lyon is the 20-year-old Frenchman's career-second singles title in only two final appearances, and he is the third player this year to win titles back to back. The other two are Lleyton Hewitt, who captured consecutive tournaments in San Jose and Indian Wells, and Carlos Moya, who won in Bastad and Umag.
"I knew I had a chance today going into the match. 'Guga' is a legend of tennis and this makes the victory extra special. When I received the winner's trophy at the prize giving ceremony it finally hit me that I had won again. Both victories are sweet but champagne taste better than vodka," said Mathieu, who has won 13 matches in 16 days, starting with the Moscow qualifying event.
"I started to lose some power in the second set, and in the third I felt like I had no energy left. I was hoping to hang in there and hopefully get another chance to come back into the match. I had four really tough matches this week and they started to show. Overall, I am very happy with how I have performed here in Lyon," said Kuerten, who had hip surgery in February, was looking for his 18th career-title and his second of 2002.
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