Russian teen Andrey Rublev made good on his promise as one of the next generation of stars on the ATP World Tour, on Sunday beating No. 4 seed and veteran Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag.
Rublev lost in the qualifying draw, then made the main draw as a lucky loser before upending No. 3 seed and defending champ Fabio Fognini in the quarters and then Ivan Dodig to reach his first tour-level final.
“I have no words to explain it, especially after this tough week,” the 19 year old said. “Now I’m here and it’s amazing.”
He is the first lucky loser to win a tour title in eight years and the seventh in the Open Era. He will move to No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which determines which 21-and-under players will qualify for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan on Nov. 7-11.
The No. 34-ranked Lorenzi was trying to win his second ATP title following Kitzbuhel last year, falling to 1-3 in career finals.
“He played remarkable throughout the week and again today,” said Lorenzi. “I wasn’t able to vary my game as much as I wanted because I played slower. The match yesterday took away a lot of energy as it was very hot and humid.”
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