The Chilean Cristian Garin needed a wild card to enter the ATP 250 event in Cordoba after not signing in time, going all the way to claim the third ATP title! The 23-year-old defeated the top seed and home favorite Diego Schwartzman 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 in two hours and four minutes, playing better and better as the encounter progressed and finishing with a bagel to lift the trophy in style.
It was their fourth meeting and the second win for the Chilean, who has become the ninth player born in 1995 or later with three ATP titles. Also, Cristian was only the ninth competitor with that many Tour crowns since the beginning of 2018 at that moment.
Garin won five points more than Schwartzman despite that one-sided final set, delivering better percentages on the first serve while Diego had the upper hand on the second, with 23 break chances up for grabs. Cristian repelled nine out of 13 break chances, reducing the damage in his games and seizing six opportunities on the return to cross the finish line first after rattling off ten of the last 12 games.
Diego saved a break chance in the second game and broke in the next one when Cristian hit a double fault, with the Chilean pulling the break back a few minutes later to level the score at 2-2. The Argentine was the dominant figure from that moment on, securing another break in game five when Garin sprayed a backhand error and delivering one more at 4-2 after a costly double fault from the younger player.
Cristian Garin defeated Diego Schwartzman in three sets to celebrate in Cordoba.
Schwartzman wrapped up the opener with a service winner in the next game, opening a 6-2 gap and creating three break chances in the second set's third game that could have pushed him closer to the finish line.
In one of the encounter's pivotal moments, Garin repelled them all and found the energy to fight stronger. He earned a break in the sixth game when Diego netted a backhand and confirmed the advantage after dispatching two break points in the game that followed.
Schwartzman was still alive, though, breaking back at love in game nine to reduce the deficit but suffering another break thanks to a loose backhand to hand the set to the Chilean, who had all the momentum now. Wasting a break opportunity in the decider's first game, Schwartzman lost the ground completely and got broken to find himself 2-0 down.
Garin never looked back, forcing another mistake from the Argentine to open a 4-0 gap and marching towards the finish line. Returning at 5-0, Cristian sealed the deal with a return winner, celebrating the third ATP title and the strong start of his beloved clay swing.