Marseille, France (4E Sports) – Third seed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia shocked second seed and defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-6(5), 6-4, to win the Open 13 crown Sunday.
The 25-year-old Gulbis received 250 ATP Ranking points and $99,545 in prize money for his fifth career ATP World Tour title.
The win also put the No. 23 Gulbis on the verge of cracking the Top 20 in the ATP Rankings for the first time.
“My long-term goal in tennis isn’t to be Top 20. It’s to be No. 1,” stated Gulbis. “Anything less than that wouldn’t make me fully satisfied. I don’t want to get to 30 years old, look back on my career and say I didn’t make something of it.”
Gulbis hit 14 aces and won 77 percent of his service points to beat Tsonga for the second time in five meetings in one hour and 34 minutes. He is a perfect 5-0 in ATP World Tour finals.
“It’s a really nice small record for me,” said Gulbis of his record in ATP World Tour finals. “5-0 is really good. I remember when I used to play Futures and Challengers, I think I lost maybe one or two finals.”
Gulbis improved to a 14-38 record against Top 10 opponents, 3-2 in 2014. Aside from wins over Richard Gasquet and Tsonga, he defeated Juan Martin del Potro en route to the Rotterdam semifinals last week.
Tsonga was looking to win the Marseille crown for the third time, following victories in 2009 and 2013. The Frenchman dropped to a 10-9 finals record.
Meanwhile, Kurumi Nara defeated top seed Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, to win her first WTA singles title at the Rio Open.