|Stefanos Tsitsipas. — Photo ekathimerini.com|
STOCKHOLM — Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek man to win an ATP title on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ernests Gulbis in Stockholm, ending the Latvian player’s perfect record in finals.
World number 16 Tsitsipas, who had lost both his previous finals this year to Rafael Nadal in Barcelona and Toronto, went one better than Nicholas Kalogeropoulos who was the first Greek to make a tour-level final in Des Moines in 1983.
The 20-year-old Tsitsipas, seeded third, wrapped up victory in 81 minutes and follows in the footsteps of Boris Becker, Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro who also won the Stockholm title.
"I feel happy because I’m the first Greek to win a title. Hopefully many Greek players can achieve something like this," Tsitsipas told atpworldtour.com.
"Representing my country at such high-level tournaments, being the first Greek to crack the top 100 is very, very special for me."
Former top-10 player Gulbis, now ranked 145 and who came through qualifying in Stockholm, had been hoping to make it seven titles in seven finals.
"He played a really good match. He had a great week," said 30-year-old Gulbis on court after playing in his first final since 2014.
"I know it’s a big deal to win your first ATP title, so enjoy it. I wish that it’s not the last one." — AFP