Bengaluru, February 16: It took just 68 minutes for Australian fourth seed James Duckworth to stop the French Juggernaut Benjamin Bonzi to lift the US $ 162,500 Bengaluru Open title at the KSLTA Courts here on Sunday. Although the match lasted for only two sets, the spectators were treated to some fine attacking tennis seen in a long time in Bengaluru.
The evening began with an emotional farewell to Indian tennis legend Leander Paes and one expected the proceeding to follow suit of a somberness that preceded the match.
Duckworth was coming with a reputation of having won 4 titles out of 6 final appearances and was in fine form after having reached the last four of the ATP 250 in Pune last week. His opponent Bonzi meanwhile had felled four seeds en route to the final including India’s No.1 and defending champion Prajnesh Gunneswaran. So when the two talented men in form met on the court, it was fireworks all the way. “I was aware he had beaten some good players in this tournament. I was kind of prepared for this and luckily I played my best today,” said Duckworth.
Both matched stroke for stroke but it was the Frenchman who had the first jibe breaking his opponent in the fourth game. Then the opponents broke each other’s service for the next three games before Duckworth held his serve in the eighth game after saving two break points to level scores at 4-4. A break in the ninth game ensured that Duckworth won the set at 6-4 but not before Bonzi had some good answers to his serves.
In the second set, both served and returned well and held their respective serves until the fourth game. Duckworth achieved a break in the 5th game to go 3-2 up. The rivals then broke each other in the next two games before they held their respective serves for Duckworth to win at 6-4.
“I have had a good run on Indian soil these two weeks. I may think of applying for citizenship,” joked Duckworth after his victory. “I am very happy to win here. It was a quality field and organized very efficiently. This win has given me the confidence to try and get to the top-50,” said the winner.
Results Singles final:  James Duckworth (AUS) bt Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) 6-4, 6-4