World No. 114 Alexei Popyrin had yet to reach the semifinals of an ATP tour-level event before this week. You wouldn’t know it after his winning performance in the Sunday final of the Singapore Tennis Open on Sunday.
Popyrin rallied from a set down against fourth-seeded Alexander Bublik, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, to capture his first ever career ATP title.
“It feels unbelievable,” Popyrin said. “A lot of sacrifice, a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work went into this from myself, my team and my whole entire family. I have done it for everybody who was involved. I am just so proud that I could actually get it done.”
It was the 21-year-old Aussie’s second victory over a seeded player this week, having taken out third-seeded and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, 46th-ranked Bublik—who was playing in his fourth career ATP final—had good things to say about his opponent.
“Alexei played enormous tennis today.” Bublik said. “He hit all the lines, he hit all the serves and all the returns. He was the better player today.”
Though he fell short on Sunday, the Russian-born Kazakh had “a lot of positives” to take away from the match.
“My game definitely evolved since last year… I am happy with my performance during the week.
Over at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, second-seeded David Goffin ended his title drought by clawing his way back from a set down to defeat top-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. It was the Belgian's first title run since 2017.
“It’s never easy to win tournaments," Goffin said. "This is my fifth and every tournament that I’ve won was very special. I had some opportunities, I’ve had matches [where] I had zero chance to win in the final. Sometimes you take it, sometimes not. I’ve played some finals, but you need to continue, you need to improve your game, you need to fight and I’m happy that it paid off at the end.”
It was Goffin's fourth straight victory Bautista Agut, who was aiming to win his 10th tour-level title.