Radu Albot made history Sunday in Delray Beach becoming the first Moldovan player to win an ATP title beating the rain and Dan Evans 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7).
Albot, who had dropped the first set, also had to overcome a 56-minute rain delay which came while up a break 2-1, 15-0 in the third set.
The 29-year-old stayed strong though despite a momentum shift after the rain. Evans broke back and in the deciding break, led 6-4 and again 7-6. Albot fended off all three match points winning five of the last six points for the biggest win of his career.
“It feels unbelievable. You work so much. You work your whole life, your whole career, and at the end you win a tournament,” said Albot who had never been to an ATP final before. “This is just a great feeling. I think it’s difficult to put into words.”
Evans, who off the tour due to a drug suspension just a year ago, falls to 0-2 in ATP finals.
“He hit a good volley [on the 3rd match point]. I have to give him credit. It’s easy to say I didn’t take the match points but I thought he played great in the moments he needed to play great,” Evans said. “I was 2-4 down and staring down the barrel to be honest. I gave it a good go and it wasn’t good enough.”
Unranked a year ago, Evans is projected to rise close to No. 100. He upset defending champion Frances Tiafoe and No. 2 seed John Isner en route to his second career final.
The 82nd-ranked Albot is expected to climb to a new career-high close to No. 50.
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