The diminutive Diego Schwartzman won his second career title, and the biggest of his career Sunday when he defeated veteran Fernando Versasco 6-2, 6-2 for the ATP 500-level Rio Open crown.
He will make his Top 20 debut when the next ATP rankings are released on Monday.
“Everything was perfect — every match, every set was perfect for me, playing my best tennis,” Schwartzman said afterwards. “I think he was a little bit tired in the [end] of the second set and for me it was important because I was fresh.”
Schwartzman went down a break immediately in the match, but the righted the ship with his exceptional counterpunching style, eventually fighting off five break points in the second set to claim the match.
The 25-year-old Schwartzman won his first title since his maiden effort in 2016 at Istanbul. He improved to 2-2 in career finals.
Verdasco was attempting a first title win since 2016.
“He was much closer, in the direction changes, hitting close to the line,” Verdasco said. “When I served well, he would recover and play better than me. His legs were more fresh than mine and in the end, he deserved the victory more than me.”
Verdasco fell to 7-16 record in career finals after toppling two-time defending champion Dominic Thiem and former finalist Fabio Fognini during the week.
Schwartzman and Verdasco will next fly to Acapulco where they will meet in the first round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Mexico.
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