The 26-year-old Alejandro Tabilo claimed his first ATP title in Auckland, beating Taro Daniel 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 36 minutes. Tabilo fired ten aces and defended his second serve nicely, denying all three break chances and keeping the pressure on the other side.
Daniel prevailed over the top seed Ben Shelton in the semi-final but could not repeat that in the title clash. The Japanese struggled behind the second serve and experienced three breaks from five chances offered to the Chilean.
Tabilo overpowered Daniel in the shortest, mid-range and most extended rallies, heading to Melbourne with a well-deserved title. Alejandro made a reliable start, serving well in the opener and securing a double break. Daniel landed a service winner in the encounter's second game, and Tabilo moved 2-1 in front with an ace.
The Japanese held after deuces in the fourth game, locking the result at 2-2 and staying in touch early on.
Alejandro Tabilo defeated Taro Daniel in the Auckland final.
Alejandro landed a forehand drive-volley winner in the fifth game and painted a backhand winner in the next one for three break chances.
Tabilo clinched the third after the rival's mistake, opening a 4-2 gap and gaining a boost. The Chilean cemented the lead with an ace in game seven, playing well and gaining confidence. Taro served to stay in the set at 2-5 and experienced more issues.
Alejandro placed a lob winner for two set points and seized the first after the rival's backhand error for 6-2 in 34 minutes. A left-hander denied a break point in the second set's first game and held with a forehand crosscourt winner at the net for 1-0.
Daniel grabbed the second game with a service winner, ending his downfall.
Tabilo played against another break point in game three, erasing it with a booming serve and bringing the game home with a forehand volley winner at the net.
They served well in the next three games, locking the result at 3-3. Alejandro squandered four game points in the seventh game before offering his rival the third and last break chance. The Chilean attacked and saved it with a backhand volley winner at the net before holding after the Japanese's mistake.
The returners had no chances in the next four games, with Alejandro moving 6-5 in front with an ace after deuce. Daniel served to stay in the match in game 12 and missed a backhand after an extended exchange, offering Tabilo three match points.
Alejandro attacked with his forehand on the first, drawing the rival's mistake and celebrating his first ATP title at 26.