Australian rising star Alexei Popyrin hunted his first-ever ATP Tour title at the 2021 Singapore Tennis Open after beating No.4 seed Alexander Bublik in the three sets(4-6, 6-0, 6-2).
Before reaching the first tour-level final, the 21-years-old from Sydney had a tight match against the 2014 US Open champion, and No.3 seed Marin Cilic, who owns eight ATP Tour crowns on indoor hard courts.
While 32-years-old Croatian was moving to capture his 19th tour-level trophy, a semifinal debutant came back from 1-4 down in the first set and had head-to-head two tiebreakers 7-6(5), 7-6(2) to pull out the former World No.3 in just under two hours.
“I am Just So Proud That I Could Actually Get It Done”: Alexei Popyrin
In the championship match on Sunday, the unseeded Australian exhibited his serving skills and landed eleven aces to defeat World No.46 Alexander Bublik in an hour and 24 minutes.
“It feels unbelievable. A lot of sacrifices, a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work went into this from me, my team and my whole entire family. I have done it for everybody who was involved. I am just so proud that I could actually get it done,” Popyrin said after claiming the title at indoor hard courts.
“I knew that if I could get a quick start in the second set, I would probably win the second set with the way I have been serving this week. “That third set was a grind. It was really a grind. I started picking up where he was going to serve a lot. I started getting the balls back in play a lot,” Aussie added.
Alexei Popyrin, who is now ranked 114 globally and had never qualified for the semifinal, will rise new career-high in the ATP ranking list, which is usually released every Monday.
“The most important thing was to read his serve, and that is what I started to do… At the same time, I tried to play aggressive, and that is what I did. It paid off,” Popyrin concluded.
Will we see how many more titles Alexei Popyrin add to his account?