Moldova’s Radu Albot saved three match points in a third-set tie-breaker before capturing his first ATP Tour title Sunday by defeating Britain’s Dan Evans in the Delray Beach Open final.
Albot, ranked 82nd, dispatched the 148th-ranked English qualifier 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) after two hours and 51 minutes on the court plus a rain delay in the tension-filled final set.
Both men were trying to become the fifth first-time winner on the ATP Tour this year.
Albot, 29, was in his first tour-level final. It was only last year when he reached his first ATP semi-final at Metz, France, where Albot lost to eventual champion Gilles Simon of France.
Evans, 28, reached his only other ATP final in 2017 when he lost at Sydney to Gilles Mueller of Luxembourg. He was suspended for one year later that season after testing positive for cocaine at the Barcelona Open.
Rain arrived at the Florida event with Albot leading 2-1 in the third set.
They battled into a tie-breaker and Evans had the first three chances at taking the victory, each time denied by Albot, who capitalized on his first match-point opportunity for the triumph.