Sunday was a day of underdog triumph on the men’s tennis tour with two of the three ATP 250 titles on offer being won by unseeded player who became first-time champions.
Basic wins first career title
Bosnian world number 129 Mirza Basic, who came through qualifying and stunned three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals, clinched his first career title at the Sofia Open.
The 26-year-old journeyman defeated Romania’s 93rd-ranked Marius Copil 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, becoming just the second Bosnian to win an ATP title after Damir Dzumhur who was a champion on two occasions in 2017.
As well as taking home almost 90,000 euros in prize money, Basic will reach a projected career-high 76 in the rankings next week.
Meanwhile, Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop claimed their second doubles title of the season together at the Sofia Open, after winning the Maharashtra Open in January.
Carballes wins shock Quito title
Unheralded Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain captured his maiden ATP title, winning the season’s opening clay court event in Quito by seeing off compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas, the second seed, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Carballes, the 24-year-old world number 107, is expected to rise by around 30 places in the rankings as a result of his victory.
Pouille beats Gasquet for Montpellier title
French tennis number one Lucas Pouille clinched his fifth career ATP title with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 defeat of compatriot Richard Gasquet in the Montpellier final.
Three-time former champion Gasquet reached the final of the event for a sixth straight year, but the 31-year-old finished runner-up for the second time in a row following his 2017 defeat to Alexander Zverev.
Pouille, who sealed the Davis Cup for France in last year’s final, missed his country’s first-round victory over the Netherlands in Albertville last week with a neck injury.
British brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski won their first ATP World Tour doubles team.
With inputs from AFP