Australia’s Nick Kyrgios took home his first ever ATP title, winning the Marseille open by defeating former US Open champion Marin Cilic by straight sets (6-2, 7-6 (7/3) in the final.
Previously, Kyrgios had to retire from a tournament in Rotterdam with an elbow injury but he showed no signs of discomfort as he began his way to victory.
On the way to the final, the 20-year-old had already defeated two top 10 players – Thomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet. Against Cilic, Kyrgios did not falter either, and went on to win the entire tournament without losing a single set or dropping any serve.
Pressuring Cilic from the start, the Canberran converted his eighth break point for a 3-1 lead in the first set before capturing a second break in the seventh game and serving out love to take the set.
Even as Cilic grabbed a chance and tried to force a decider with a set point in the 10th game, Kyrgios held on and played an ace in the tie-break after just 85 minutes of play.
Usually described as brash and emotional, Kyrgios appeared somewhat soft-spoken after his win.
“I played my first final last year and was looking for my title,” Kyrgios said. “But I didn’t really expect to win this title this week after having a couple of weeks off. But from the first round I started playing really well and just gained confidence as I kept winning matches.”
Kyrgios’s win will elevate his ATP World Ranking from its current 41, and the first player to down top 10 players in consecutive matches since Juan Martin Del Potro beat Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to win the 2009 US Open.