ATP Stockholm: Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Ernests Gulbis for maiden ATP crown

Tennis - The 20-year-old is the first ATP champion from Greece and the second one born in 1998 after Tiafoe

by Jovica Ilic
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ATP Stockholm: Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Ernests Gulbis for maiden ATP crown

It was third time lucky for the 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in Stockholm, defeating a qualifier Ernests Gulbis 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes for his maiden ATP title, becoming the first player from his country to lift an ATP trophy! This was the third final of the season for the super talented youngster but the first without Rafael Nadal on the other side of the net, facing a little bit forgotten former Top 10 player who never lost an ATP final before.

He had to today, though, missing a chance to become the third-lowest champion on the Tour in 2018 (he is ranked 145th) and to maintain a perfect score in the title matches. Stefanos is the 12th different first time champion this season and he earned a win after a great performance on serve, dropping 10 points in 10 service games and fending off the only break point he faced to keep his games intact.

On the other hand, Gulbis served at only 48% and that significantly plagued his chances for a better result, struggling on his second serve and dropping serve once in each set to finish runner-up. Stefanos saved a break point in the very first game of the match after forcing an error from Ernests and they both served well in the next eight games, with the Latvian serving to stay in the set at 4-5.

His focused dropped in the worst possible moment and Stefanos broke him at 15 after a long rally that provided a huge boost for the youngster before the rest of the match. Just like in the opener, the rivals played on the level terms in set number two as well and Gulbis had to serve to stay in the match at 4-5 after nine easy holds on both sides.

He couldn't deal with the pressure and Tsitsipas broke him at love after four unforced errors from Gulbis, securing his first ATP title in one of the most memorable moments of his young career so far. This was the 39th win for the Greek in the breakthrough season and he will now try to finish it in the best possible way in Basel and the NextGen Finals in Milan. Final result:

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Atp Stockholm Stefanos Tsitsipas Ernests Gulbis
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