Six-foot-six Russian Karen Khachanov won his second career ATP title on Sunday, edging red-hot local favorite Lucas Pouille 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 for the Open 13 Provence crown.
“I just need to keep working and keep going,” the 21-year-old Khachanov said afterwards. “I felt I was playing good here from the first day. It’s nice to play on a full court in the final, and I hope to come back next year.”
The No. 9 seed won his first career title at the 2016 Chengdu Open. In Marseille he toppled two Top 20 players in Tomas Berdych and Pouille. He is a perfect 2-0 in career tour finals.
In the third set Pouille was serving to force a tiebreak at 5-6 when the Russian benefited from a key double fault by the Frenchman, and closed out the match on the next point when Pouille netted a forehand.
Pouille, who won at Montpellier two weeks ago, dropped to 1-1 in 2018 finals. He rose to No. 15 on the ATP rankings, two shy of his career high of No. 13.
“Karen is a young player who will be Top 20 soon,” the Frenchman said. “Congrats to him. Overall it was a great match. Another final is always positive. I hope that I can continue to play well in the next few weeks.”
Pouille dropped to 5-3 in career finals.
Khachanov climbed to No. 41 on the ATP rankings, chasing the career-high of No. 29 he hit last August.
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