ATP Marrakech: Roberto Carballes Baena edges Alexandre Muller and wins title

Roberto Carballes Baena prevailed in a three-hour final to lift his second ATP crown

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Marrakech: Roberto Carballes Baena edges Alexandre Muller and wins title

Roberto Carballes Baena is the new champion in Marrakech! The Spaniard endured a three-hour battle against Alexandre Muller and prevailed 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 to lift his first trophy since Quito 2018. It was their first duel since Roland Garros 2019, and they needed two hours to complete the opening two sets, pushing each other to the limits.

Carballes Baena stayed focused in the second set's tie break and dominated the decider to emerge at the top and celebrate his first title in over five years. Muller barely had ATP wins prior to this week, finding his A-game in Marrakech and standing four points away from his first ATP title.

He could not make that last push, and Carballes Baena outplayed him in the decider. The Spaniard served at 75% and fended off six out of eight break points. Roberto converted three break chances, two in the final set when he broke the rival's resistance.

The match kicked off with three comfortable holds before Muller faced issues in game four.

Roberto Carballes Baena conquered his second ATP title in Marrakech.

The Frenchman came from 40-0 down and held to avoid an early setback.

Roberto sprayed a forehand error in the seventh game to experience a break at 15 and fall behind. Alexandre held in the next one to open a 5-3 gap and forced the rival to serve to stay in the set. Carballes Baena grabbed the ninth game to prolong the battle, and Muller held at love with a service winner in the next one for 6-4.

They traded breaks in the second set's games six and seven to remain neck and neck. They served well in the remaining five games to introduce a tie break, a must-win one for the Spaniard. Alexandre stood four points away from the finish line at 3-3 before spraying a backhand error.

The Frenchman netted a backhand in the eighth point to fall 5-3 behind and played a wayward backhand to offer the Spaniard three set points. Carballes Baena seized the first to wrap up the set in 72 minutes and introduce a decider.

With a boost on his side, Roberto placed a perfect volley winner at the net to convert the third break point at the start of the final set. Carballes Baena backed the break with three comfortable holds that pushed him 4-2 ahead.

Muller lost the ground and squandered numerous game points in game seven. He netted a forehand on the second break point to get broken and fall 5-2 behind. Roberto served for the title in the eighth game and faced break points.

The Spaniard denied them and seized the first match point after the rival's backhand error to celebrate his first ATP title in over five years.

Atp Marrakech Roberto Carballes Baena Alexandre Muller