#NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur would have preferred to have taken a couple of break points against Adrian Mannarino in the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships final. But, in the end, the 20-year-old Aussie needed to win only one to claim the ATP 250 title.
De Minaur won his third title of the season and of his career on Sunday, beating the 31-year-old Frenchman 7-6(4), 6-4. De Minaur had lost all 12 of his break points until the final point of the match, when Mannarino netted a backhand. With his third title, De Minaur creates a five-way title for second place on the 2019 tour-level titles leaderboard.
“It was a really tough match. I had a lot of chances and I felt like Adrian just played better than I did in those moments. I just told myself I had to try and take control of the point and just try to dictate as much as I could and I hit a great ball and I’m happy it ended there,” De Minaur said.
2019 Tour-Level Titles Leaderboard
Alex de Minaur
The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up won his maiden title at the Sydney International, his home event, in January and didn’t lose his serve all week to win the BB&T Atlanta Open in July.
He was perfect on serve against Mannarino as well, never facing a break point. And the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals hopeful stayed calm despite seeing break chances come and go. Twice Mannarino came back from 0/40 down on his serve.
“He’s one of the toughest guys to play, very tricky, and in that first set I had so many chances and I wasn’t able to break him, so I just had to make sure I stayed calm and just kept on backing myself, stay positive and I was able to play some great points to turn the tie-break around and that first set was huge,” De Minaur said.
The title match was a contest of steady baseliners, as Mannarino was content to rally with the more aggressive De Minaur. But the Aussie was more clutch in the big moments, coming through in the first-set tie-break and gaining another 40/0 lead on Mannarino’s serve in the final game.
De Minaur, the 2018 ATP Newcomer Of The Year, will receive 250 ATP Rankings points and $160,550 in prize money. De Minaur is projected to rise to No. 25 on Monday when the new ATP Rankings are released.
Mannarino, who fell to 1-7 in finals, will receive 150 ATP Rankings points and $86,810 in prize money. The Frenchman was going for his second title of the season after winning his maiden crown at the Libema Open in June.
“He played great. I don’t think that my level dropped during the match, I think that he just kept pushing all the time, being really offensive and, if you just lose your concentration for, I don’t know, 30 seconds, one minute, then you lose a crucial game and then it goes quick,” Mannarino said. “He played better than me, that’s the only thing I can remember about this match.”
Source: ATP World Tour