Pouille, Basic, and Carballes Baena cap off surprising week with titles

Richard Gasquet took a 24-4 lifetime record in Montpellier with him into Sunday’s Open Sud de France final, but that did not matter to Lucas Pouille. In an all-French showdown, Pouille captured the fifth ATP title of his career by beating Gasquet 7-6(2), 6-4.

“I’m very happy with the win today,” the No. 2 seed said. “Obviously it was a tough match. Richard is an amazing player and one of the best on tour. The first set was very important and taking the tie-break led me to the victory. I’m very happy with the way I played. It was a great week for me in Montpellier, winning the title in the city where I got my first wild card on tour at 18 (years old). It’s a great feeling and I’m very happy with this. I hope to come back next year and defend my title.”



That was the least surprising tournament outcome of the week, as Sofia and Quito saw first-time champions emerge on the season. At the Sofia Open, qualifier Mirza Basic completed his seven-match run to the title with a 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 6-4 defeat of Marius Copil.

“I’m very happy about everything this week,” the world No. 129 from Bosnia and Herzegovina assured. “It’s the first title for me and the first final. Also, I’m very happy for breaking through after the match yesterday…. After this week I will finally get in the top 100. (Following) this win, Sofia will always be my special place.”

“I am very happy to reach my first final,” Copil added. “Being here in the last match is something big for me and it motivates me to have more weeks like this. I was a bit tight and had some emotions. I started well, but then I was pushing and wasn’t as aggressive as in the matches before.”



A qualifier also triumphed on the red clay of the Quito Open, where Roberto Carballes Baena upset No. 2 seed and fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
“Many feelings come to my mind and many years of training to achieve this,” Carballes Baena explained. “I thank my family–my parents in particular. They have been with me since I was little and have been behind me for a long time. We will celebrate this in Spain.

“I did not expect this when I came to Quito, but every day I have improved and now I have the title with me. I entered the top 100 for the first time two years ago, but I needed to have a good ATP World Tour tournament. I did very well during the matches this week and they have been very hard matches, decided by small margins.”



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