One of the most exciting emerging talents of men's tennis, Lucas Pouille, has secured his first ATP tour title.
The 22-year-old, who knocked Rafael Nadal out of the US Open, defeated Dominic Thiem in the final of the Moselle Open, an ATP 250 tournament in Metz.
Pouille delighted the French crowd by coming from 4-0 down to take the first set on a tie-break, he then wrapped up victory by securing the second set 6-2.
The Frenchman has risen from 78 to 18 in the world over the course of this year as he continues to hint at being the next big star in French tennis, and victory over the world number ten - himself a rising star tipped to go right to the top - was further evidence of his. With appearances in the quarter-finals of the last two Grand Slams and now his first trophy, he will go into the Asian hard court season in fine fettle.
Speaking after his victory, Pouille said: "I'm really happy to win my first title here. I played well from the beginning. Now I can rest and get ready for the China Open next week in Beijing."
Fans booking corporate hospitality for The Championships, Wimbledon may be excited by the thought that Pouille could make a bigger impact there in 2017. This year saw Milos Raonic reach his first Grand Slam final and with the current 'big five' of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka all set to be in their thirties by the time the tournament comes round, the young guns will be hoping to make their mark again.
While the French only have to look back as far as 2013 and Marion Bartoli for a female champion, the last male victor was Yvon Petra back in 1946. Since then, no Frenchman has even reached the final, although Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has made it as far as the last four. While the French public may prefer him to end their long drought at Roland Garros (no Frenchman has won on the clay since Yannick Noah in 1983), there will be great delight if he becomes the next Gallic victor at the All England Club.
By Alex Brundell