Corentin Moutet cruised past Andrew Harris in straight sets to capture the Chennai Open Challenger crown on Sunday.
But, Andrew was forced to chase the match right after the seventh game in the first set. He kick-started the proceedings by winning the opening game, taking a 1-0 lead. At 30-40 in the second game, Moutet miscued a shot into the top tier of the stadium and allowed Andrew to get back into it at deuce.
But, the Frenchman bagged consecutive points to level the meeting at one all. Both players held their serves until the sixth game, with scores locked at three each. Moutet got the all-important break in the seventh game, which gave him a 4-3 advantage.
The champion became an instant crowd favourite, thanks to his delightful shot-making. Andrew gifted a few points during Moutet’s eighth service game, hitting the net thrice on his returns. Moutet completed the formalities by breaking Andrew for the second time in a space of three games. He pocketed the first set 6-3 and was one set away from winning the trophy. Moutet outplayed his opponent at the start of the second set, winning four successive games. In the second game, he had two break point opportunities and converted the second to have a 2-0 cushion. Moutet once again broke his rival in the fourth game, this time in only his third chance.
Andrew finally opened his account by breaking the second seed in the fifth game and that gave him a glimmer of a hope to mount a comeback. He held his next service game to reduce the deficit to 2-4. From there on, Moutet held both his serves to take home the title. Andrew did manage to save three championship points in the eighth and ninth games, but ran out of steam in the searing weather. Title-winner Moutet was rewarded with a cash prize of $7,200, while Andrew became richer by $4,240. The second seed collected 80 points for his showing in the seven-day event, with the unseeded Aussie getting 48 points for his impressive run.