Corentin Moutet

The second seed Corentin Moutet of France a left-hander proved to be too good for Andrew Harris of Australia winning the finals in straight sets to lift the coveted Chennai Open ATP Challenger 2019 Trophy.  The fair crowd that witnessed the final at the SDAT Tennis Stadium, Nungambakkam, Chennai was treated to a variety of exquisite shots, tremendous agility and exemplary court-craft.  The week was hard on both players who played long matches in the previous rounds.  This seemed to have affected the 24 year old Andrew Harris as he struggled to find his form particularly on his ground strokes. His patented single hand backhand did not find its target often enough.  On the other hand in spite of a lower percentage of first serve, Corentin was ahead most of the match.  Corentin returned serve with a great degree of confidence and precision and he broke Andrew twice in the first set to win it 6-3.  In the second set Corentin broke Andrew twice again in the second set and led 4-0. Andrew broke back in the next game with rousing returns and then held serve and the score was 4-2.  In the next game on one point Corenten drew Andrew to the net with a drop shot.  Andrew picked it up and played a forehand drop volley.  Corentin scampered and played a perfect lob to which Andrew raced back and turned round and unleashed a forehand which went out.  This rally emphasized the dominance of Corentin’s agility and court-craft throughout the match.  The score was now 5-2.  In the eighth game, Andrew was leading 40-15.  Inexplicably Andrew lost the next three points due to an unforced error and two forcing returns to be down a match point.  Andrew saved the points with a deep serve which Corentin returned wide.  Andrew held to reduce the lead to 3-5.  Corentin mounted pressure with his varied ground strokes and led 40-0 – three match points.  An unforced error and a double fault from him reduced the three match points to one match point.  On the only match point left Corentin played a backhand slice which skimmed over the net and Andrew’s hurried forehand found the net.  Corentin Moutet was the deserving Champion.

In a post match interview, Andrew who had been a top 10 junior in his earlier days said that he was happy to have played the way he did in this tournament as he was coming back after a long break during which was recovering from injury and completing his college. Corentin was humble in his victory. He was happy to have won the tournament on his first visit to India.  When asked what his goal was for the year he said “I tried to do my best always and that is what I will do.  I have to continue to improve many aspects of my game and I have no control over the ranking.  If I do my best, I will always go ahead.” This obviously shows that he had a firm head on his shoulders.

Corentin won his second ATP title received USD 7,200 approx. Rs. 5,10,000/- he also received 80 ATP points, while Andrew received USD 4,240 approx. Rs.3,00,000/- and 48 ATP points.

On behalf of TNTA, the President, Mr. Vijay Amritraj appreciated the work of Dr. P. Narasimhan who had passed away recently and a moment’s silence was observed in his memory.  Speaking on the occasion, Vijay thanked everyone – GOTN, Sponsors, Organising Personnel, SDAT and others who had helped in the successful conduct of the event.

Mr. Dheeraj Kumar, IAS, Mr. Chandra Sekhar Sakhamuri, IAS and Mr. Girish Radhakrishnan distributed the prizes in the presence of Mr. Vijay Amritraj.

Men’s Singles Main Draw – Finals

[2] Corentin Moutet (FRA) Bt. Andrew Harris (AUS) 6-3, 6-3