ATP Cordoba: Cristian Garin bagels Diego Schwartzman for third ATP crown

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ATP Cordoba: Cristian Garin bagels Diego Schwartzman for third ATP crown

The Chilean Cristian Garin needed a wild card to enter the ATP 250 event in Cordoba after not signing in time, making the best decision as he claimed 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 match 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, and also the ninth with that many crowns on the Tour since the beginning of 2018.

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 points, limiting the damage in his games and seizing six opportunities on the return to cross the finish line first, 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 in the next game 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 another one at 4-2 after a costly double fault.

Schwartzman wrapped up the opener with a service winner in the next game, moving 6-2 in front and creating three break chances in the third game of the second set that could have pushed him closer to the finish line. In one of the pivotal moments of the entire encounter, Garin repelled them all and suddenly found the energy to fight stronger, earning a break in the sixth game when Diego netted a backhand and confirming the advantage after erasing 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 in the next game thanks to a loose backhand to hand the set to the Chilean who had all the momentum now.

Wasting a break point in the first game of the decider, Schwartzman lost the ground completely, getting broken in the second game as Garin never looked back, forcing another mistake from the Argentine to open a 4-0 gap. Returning at 5-0, Cristian sealed the deal with a return winner, celebrating the third ATP title and strong start of his beloved clay swing.