Australian tennis player James Duckworth admitted he was "really excited" after making his maiden ATP final at the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan. Duckworth, ranked at No. 65 in the world, overcame eighth-seeded Ilya Ivashka 6-3 7-6 (4) in the Nur-Sultan semifinal.
Ivashka recently captured his maiden ATP title at the Winston-Salem Open and he entered the Duckworth clash as the favorite. “I am really excited,” Duckworth said, per the ATP website. “I am thrilled. It was a really tough match.
Ilya has been playing some great tennis this year. We have played twice already this year, both times went to three sets. “I knew it was going to be really difficult but I managed to win that second set in a tie-break.
it was a very close set that could have gone either way. I think I played the big points well”.
Duckworth delivered a good performance
Duckworth failed to convert his first break point in the second game but claimed his first break of the match two games later to take a 3-1 lead.
Duckworth saved a break point in the fifth game, before serving out for the opener in the ninth game. Ivashka missed out on a chance to break Duckworth in the second game of the second set but earned his first break of the match in the fourth game.
However, Ivashka's lead was short-lived as Duckworth broke back in the fifth game. Duckworth saved two consecutive set points in the 10th game, before realizing his second match point in the tie-break to book a straight-set win.
Duckworth plays in the final Soonwoo Kwon, who beat Alexander Bublik. ”It will be a tough match whoever I play, both very different styles,” Duckworth added. “Bublik plays big and serves big and Kwon is more of a baseliner.
I will have to be ready for both guys, I am just going to recover the best I can and come out tomorrow and see what happens”.