South Korean tennis player Soonwoo Kwon was "just really happy" to win his maiden ATP title at the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan. Kwon, ranked at No. 82 in the world, beat world No. 65 James Duckworth 7-6 (6) 6-3 in the Astana Open final.
“I am really happy to win my first ATP 250 title,” Kwon said, per the ATP website. “I am just really really happy to win today. It was a tough match today against James. He served really well and played very well and I tried to focus every single point”.
Kwon's run to the Astana Open title also included wins over Evgeny Donskoy, Dusan Lajovic, Laslo Djere and home favorite Alexander Bublik. “It was a fantastic tournament and it has been an honour to play here,” Kwon added.
“Thank you to my team and my coach for supporting me”.
Kwon came up big in key moments
Kwon had the first break point of the match in the ninth game but Duckworth saved it to take a 5-4 lead. As no breaks were seen in the first set, the set had to be resolved in a tie-break.
Kwon took an early 2-0 lead in the tie-break but Duckworth won six of the following seven points to take a 6-3 lead. However, Kwon didn't panic as he won the following five points to save three consecutive set points and win a tight opener.
After losing the first set, Duckworth broke Kwon in the opening game of the second set. Unfortunately for Duckworth, his lead was short-lived as Kwon broke back in the second game
It didn't take long for Kwon to claim another break, having broken Duckworth in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.
Duckworth was on the verge of losing his serve for the third time in the second set but he saved a match point on is serve in the eighth game. However, it didn't impact the outcome of the match as Kwon served out for the match in the ninth game.