SINGAPORE – A new ATP champion was crowned on Sunday (Feb 28) in Singapore when Australian world No. 114 Alexei Popyrin came from behind to beat Kazakh fourth seed Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 for his first ATP singles title.
It was Popyrin’s first time making the final after he upset 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in two tiebreakers in the semi-final on Saturday.
After losing the first set, Popyrin dropped just two games thereafter as he upped his intensity while relying on his strong serve. He fired 11 aces for the match and won seven consecutive service games to love from 3-5 in the first set.
“We put in a lot of hard work in pre-season and it’s paying off,” Popyrin said in an on-court interview at the OCBC Arena.
“Also my family behind the scenes… they’ve sacrificed so much for me and to finally win a tournament just shows how much hard work they put in with me also and this is for them, this is for them 100 per cent.”
The former junior French Open champion is expected to rise to a new career-high ranking of world No.82 when the standings are released on Monday.
For his win, Popyrin earned US$24,770 (S$33,003).