Australia’s Alex de Minaur looked a beaten man in his semifinal against Holger Rune after losing the first set, instead he fought back for a memorable win.
The 24-year-old Australian played a carbon copy in the final. He lost 6-3 to USA’s Tommy Paul in the opening set before steadying to win the second 6-4.
After a marathon opening game in the third set when de Minaur saved five break points before running away with the match, taking the third set 6-1.
It is the first title for de Minaur at the ATP500 level and adds to his six titles at the ATP250 level.
“It feels great, it feels amazing,” De Minaur said just before the trophy ceremony. “I know the hard work that’s put in to be here and it’s good to see the results. It’s not always that you win the tournament and you get to finish a week unbeaten, so I’ll definitely cherish this going into Indian Wells and Miami.”
de Minaur again is the top-ranked Australian player after moving up four places to No. 18 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings this week, leaving him three spots off his career high of No. 15.
Nick Kyrgios sits at no. 22 after not having played so far in 2023.
“Like everything in my career, it’s been step by step,” he said of his return to the Top 20. “I just want to keep pushing, keep getting the most out of myself. I know I might not play unbelievable tennis every day but I know I’m going to fight to the end.
“I’ve got a whole lot of heart in this little body of mine and I enjoy competing, so I’m very happy with it.”