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Gasquet roars, claims 16th title

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AFP) — French veteran Richard Gasquet won his first Association of Tennis Professional title in nearly five years as he fought back to stun second seed Cameron Norrie in the final of the Auckland Classic on Saturday.

In a grueling match two days before the Australian Open in Melbourne, Gasquet prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over the British world No. 12.

Gasquet was emotional after winning the 16th title of his career.

Norrie held a triple break point to go 4-0 up in the third set but 36-year-old Gasquet held serve and then broke his opponent twice.

Ranked 67th in the world, Gasquet will go into his Australian Open first-round match against compatriot Ugo Humbert full of confidence.

It was the first loss of the year for left-hander Norrie.

The 27-year-old won all three of his matches at the recent United Cup in Australia, where his victims included Spanish great Rafael Nadal and American Taylor Fritz.

It was his second defeat in the Auckland final, having lost to American Tennys Sandgren in 2019.

A Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Norrie has drawn French teenager Luca Van Assche in the first round in Melbourne.

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