Tennis: Simon beats drizzle to claim Kooyong Classic third place

Gilles Simon of France hits a backhand return during his match against Bernard Tomic of Australia on the final day of the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 13, 2017.
Gilles Simon of France hits a backhand return during his match against Bernard Tomic of Australia on the final day of the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 13, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Frenchman Gilles Simon got what he described as a taste of home as he overcame drizzle to defeat Bernard Tomic for a third-place finish at the Kooyong Classic on Friday (Jan 13).

In a contest reduced before the start to one set, given the threatening weather which arrived later, he won 6-3.

Despite the conditions, organisers remained hopeful of the men's final between defending champion David Goffin and Ivo Karlovic and the women's title match between Sorana Cirstea and Yanina Wickmayer taking place.

"This is close to French weather so I'm used to it," the 25th-ranked Simon said after his 26-minute win which leaves Australian Tomic without a victory this year heading into Monday's Australian Open start.

"The conditions were tough, but things change so much here. We know in two days it will be 35 Deg C again.

"I'm feeling fine for the Open even if I did not play a lot of matches before."

Simon, 32, will start at the Grand Slam against American teenager Michael Mmoh.

"I saw him at the US Open," Simon added, joking: "At my age, there are no good draws. I will try to take him down if I can."

The pre-Australian Open Kooyong hit-out has long been a staple of the week prior to the start of the Grand Slam, with organisers known for making some of their own rules on the fly in order to get play on court.

Defeat left Tomic winless since late September in Shenzhen, China.

"It was a shame the rain started the last two games but it's quality for me and him, and we're both ready to play on Monday," Tomic said.