Popyrin Edges Wawrinka In Umag Final For Second Career Title

by Staff | July 30th, 2023, 6:36 pm
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With his leg in pain, Alexie Popyrin broke Stan Wawrinka at 4-all in the third and then closed it out 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 for his second career title, taking the Umag trophy Sunday in Croatia.

“All tournament I’ve been fighting battles that I don’t know how I won. This one tops it all,” said Popyrin on court. “My quad was done at 2-1. I felt it cramp, I felt it strain. I think it’s pulled, but I managed to dig deep. I don’t know how I won it, honestly. I honestly don’t know.

“I even told the physio when he came out,” said Popyrin. “He said, ‘If you go any more then it will be tough’. I said, ‘There’s no point in quitting now, I’m here in the final. If I lose, I lose. If I retire, I lose anyway. So I have a better chance of winning if I stay in’, so that’s what I decided to do.”

The 23-year-old Australian broke the 38-year-old Wawrinka four times in the 2 hour, 38 minute match. Popyrin is now 2-0 in ATP finals having won 2021 Singapore.

“It’s an unbelievable honor to play somebody like Stan in a final,” added Popyrin. “I grew up watching him, Roger, Rafa, Novak play. To play him in a final and beat him in a final, words can’t describe how happy I am. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Wawrinka was seeking his first ATP title since 2017 Geneva.

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