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Top seed Simons holds off Jones to seal place in final

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Tariq Simons in action against Benjamin Jones in last night's semi-final of the MTM Masters Invitational Tournament at Fairmont Southampton, winning 6-2, 7-6. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Benjamin Jones battled back in the second set before losing in a tie-break to top seed Tariq Simons in last night's semi-final in the MTM Masters Invitational (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Tariq Simons clinched the first spot in the Manders Tennis Management Masters Invitational Tournament final last night at the Fairmont Southampton, beating Benjamin Jones, the fourth seed, 6-2, 7-6.

Simons, the top seed, was heading for what looked to be a comfortable victory after winning the first game of the second set before rain stopped play for about 45 minutes.

Simons, 19, kept his focus when the players returned, taking a 5-0 lead as he headed towards victory, only to see Jones extend the match by winning six games in a row to lead 6-5 before Simons won the tiebreak and the match.

“I’m always excited for a win, I haven’t choked a whole lot like that in my young career, but it was good experience for me either way,” said Simons, who admitted being the No 1 seed came with added pressure. “The fact is I’ll only get better at handling it in the future. I have had bad experiences with similar situations a few times before. I got a little complacent.

“He played well, which made it more difficult to pull off the win. I had to push myself to pull it off.”

Simons will face the winner of the second semi-final between Trey Mallory and Gavin Manders.

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Published December 17, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 16, 2020 at 11:58 pm)

Top seed Simons holds off Jones to seal place in final

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