Melbourne, Australia, 18 February 2013 | Tennis Australia

Frenchman Stephane Robert has won the Melbourne Park Tennis International over Australia’s James Duckworth.

World No.209 Robert defeated Duckworth in straight sets 7-6(3) 6-3 on Sunday to claim his first Futures title since 2009.

“It’s so amazing to play a Futures event at a Grand Slam venue. This would never happen anywhere else in the world,” Robert said after the match.

“Now I can tell all my mates I won a big event at Melbourne Park,” he added with a big grin.

On the way to his title the No.3 seeded Robert defeated the likes of Dayne Kelly (Hillside, Vic), Omar Jasika (Endeavour Hills, Vic), Greg Jones (Manly, NSW) before Alex Bolt (Murray Bridge, SA) gave him a test in the semi finals.

The win marks the end of a strong couple of weeks for the 32-year-old from Montargis, France who made the final of the McDonald’s Burnie International ATP Challenger falling short to Queensland’s John Millman before going down in the quarterfinals of the Charles Sturt Adelaide International, also an ATP Challenger event in West Lakes South Australia, to eventual winner Matthew Barton.

The jovial Frenchman hadn’t planned to play Futures again but said he had nothing else to do this week and was glad he entered the tournament.

Robert will travel to Hobart now for a few days off before playing the Sydney Challenger event next week at Sydney Olympic Park in NSW.

Duckworth, the No.4 seed, didn’t fall short of tough wins, overcoming good friend Ben Mitchell (Worongary, Qld) for a second time in a month while defeating Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy before overcoming Michael Venus of New Zealand, who in the previous round had dismissed young gun Nick Kyrgios (Watson, ACT).

Kygrios and Alex Bolt also tasted Melbourne Park success taking home the doubles title over Ryan Agar (Alexandra Hills, Qld) and Sebastian Bader of Austria.