With a load of 360 ATP points coming off in Melbourne following his quarterfinal run there a year ago, Tennys Sandgren needed to do something to ease the points pressure. And Saturday in Auckland he helped his cause in a big way capturing his first career ATP title and winning 250 points beating Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-2 in the Auckland final.
“I’m a little bit at a loss for words, honestly. A lot of work, a lot of training and a lot of sacrifice goes into even making a final and to get a win, I’m kind of speechless,” Sandgren said on court. “Just grateful that I can be out here, play and compete. I’ve dealt with some injuries, so just to be healthy and playing well, it feels really good.”
The 27-year-old Sandgren never dropped a set in five matches, and enjoyed wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Marco Cecchinato.
“Surprising. It’s simply surprising,” Sandgren added. “I’ve been working hard to try and accomplish that goal. But to actually do it, to actually realise that milestone, it’s a big deal. It’s something that’s still kind of surprising to me. But I’ve been training for it and I’ve been training with that intent. I knew it was something that was in my grasp, but to actually do it, it obviously feels really good.”
The Kiwi-turned-Brit Norrie was appearing in his first ATP final. He had once beaten Sandgren in three straight Challenger events years ago.
“I think he was solid throughout. He was not making many errors and I think I over-pressed it a little bit. He was moving unbelievably this week, and today. He served great. I actually think I played better in the second set and he served too good in the second set,” Norrie said. “Too good from him today, and I’m happy for him.”
The former Tennessee Volunteer standout will face Yoshihito Nishioka in his Australian Open first round match on Monday.
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