Lucas Pouille has won his fifth ATP title by beating Richard Gasquet 7-6(2) 6-4 in an all-French final at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.
The second seed was solid on serve throughout, not facing a single break point as he prevailed on his fourth match point for his first title of the year.
“I’m very happy with the win today,” said Pouille. “Obviously it was a tough match. Richard is an amazing player and one of the best on tour.
“The first set was very important and taking the tie-break led me to the victory. I’m very happy with the way I played.
“It was a great week for me in Montpellier, winning the title in the city where I got my first wildcard on tour at 18. It’s a great feeling and I’m very happy with this. I hope to come back next year and defend my title.”
It was Gasquet’s sixth consecutive final in Montpellier, but his second defeat in a row after he was beaten by Germany’s Alexander Zverev last year. Gasquet won the title in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
Gasquet saved three break points and forced a tiebreak in the first set. Pouille won two points on his opponent’s first serve to win it 7-2 and take the lead.
Bosnian qualifier Mirza Basic has used all his skill and determination to beat big-serving Romanian Marius Copil 7-6(6) 6-7(4) 6-4 in a nerve-wracking final of the Sofia Open and win his first tour title.
Basic showed no signs of fatigue, playing his seventh match in Armeets Arena, and became only the second Bosnian to win a title after Damir Dzumhur’s triumph in St Petersburg in September.
The 26-year-old, who outclassed top seed Stan Wawrinka and fourth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber on the way to the biggest victory of his career, wore down his opponent with a punishing ground-stroking game and strong service returns.
“It’s a special day for me,” Basic, who will climb up more than 50 places in the ranking to reach No.76 on Monday. “I won a tournament and I moved up into the top 100.
“I’ve always dreamed of a place in the top 100 and I managed to fulfil my dream today.”
When you win your FIRST ATP title ????
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 11, 2018
World No.93 Copil, who fired 19 aces during his first final, also enjoyed an amazing run in Sofia, recording four straight-sets wins. The Romanian will match his career-high ranking, climbing to No.74 on Monday.
Undaunted by his first final, Basic, ranked 129th in the world, was stronger on the key points and moved brilliantly around the court.
He wrapped up the thrilling encounter in two hours and 21 minutes before collapsing to his knees in front of the roaring fans.
More familiar at the Challenger level of play, Basic – whose victory earned him nearly $110,000 (A$140,000) and 250 points for the world ranking, topped his career-best effort of a semifinal finish in St Petersburg last year.
At the Ecuador Open, qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena overcame highly-fancied compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a three-set final.
Carballes Baena, who’d never before won an ATP title, beat the No.2 seed 6-3 4-6 6-4 in just under two-and-a-half hours.
At world No.21, Ramos-Vinolas was ranked almost 100 places higher than the 24-year-old but couldn’t subdue his countryman.
“Many feelings come to my mind and many years of training to achieve this,” Carballes Baena said.
“I thank my family, my parents in particular. They have been with me since I was little and have been behind me for a long time. We will celebrate this in Spain.
“I did not expect this when I came to Quito, but every day I have improved and now I have the title with me. I entered the Top 100 for the first time two years ago, but I needed to have a good ATP World Tour tournament.
“I did very well during the matches this week and they have been very hard matches, decided by small margins. I hope to enter more ATP tournaments to continue raising my level and win more matches.”
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