Chilean jumps into world top 50 after remarkable victory at ASB Classic
The 26-year-old Chilean Alejandro Tabilo became the first qualifier in 10 years to take out the men’s title at the ASB Classic today.
He prevailed over US-based Japanese player Taro Daniel 6-2 7-5 to claim his first ATP Tour title and the first Chilean to win an ATP Tour hard-court title in 17 years.
Tabilo, born in Canada, now finds himself inside the world’s top 50 ranked players for the first time.
The Chilean found a laser-like forehand his key weapon, breaking Daniel’s serve twice on the way to the first set 6-2. Daniel fought back with some deft touches in the second set to draw level at 5-5 but with the prospect of a tiebreak looming, he was broken as Tabilo went on to claim the title.
”We are all so happy and so emotional right now. I can’t really explain what I am feeling right now,” said Tabilo. “It is unbelievable and I never expected this week to happen like this.
“It has been a lot of work with my team, a lot of rehab and recovery with all the injuries. We have been trying to get back up and we had an opportunity two years ago. I knew all the work we had put in is now showing.
“It is unbelievable to go into Australia in the top 50. Almost two years ago our goal was to make top 100 and we didn’t do it. We finished last year top 100 and planned to slowly work our way towards the top 50 but to do it is crazy, almost coming too fast so we have to calm down, process everything and keep going.
“My team had a good play and he brought what we thought and were able to play our game today and it all worked out.”
The Chilean took the initiative from the get-go, stronger on the serve, and finishing off with excellent ground-strokes and deft touches. He broke Daniels twice on the way to a 6-2 first set. The second set was closer as Daniel found his range, but at 5-5 Tabilo stepped up to break and hold his serve for the victory.
Earlier Croatian Nikola Mektic made it two doubles titles in a row at the ASB Classic, joining with Dutch player Westley Koolhof for the victory. They outlasted top seeds Marcel Granollers (ESP) and Horacio Zeballos 6-3 6-7 10-7 in the super tiebreak.
Mektic has formed a new partnership after previous linking with the great Mate Pavic (CRO) who won the doubles titles three times in Auckland including last year.
Mektic broke early for 3-0 lead and they held serve for 6-3 first set win. But Koolhof and Granollers fought back to send the second set to a tiebreak which they won 7-5.
However the Mektic-Koolhof partnership were outstanding in the super tiebreak, building a handy buffer with some brilliant shot-making, going on to win 10-7.
Singles: Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) bt Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-2 7-5.
Doubles: Wesley Koolhof (NED) and Nikola Mektic (CRO) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) and Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-3 6-7 10-7.