Read & Watch: Big-Hitting Basilashvili To Face Delpo In Beijing Final
Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili will play for his second ATP World Tour title on Sunday. The 26-year-old improved upon his career year again on Saturday at the China Open in Beijing, beating top Brit Kyle Edmund 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach the ATP World Tour 500-level final.
“Really pleased with how I played today. I think it was a very tough match,” said Basilashvili, who was bothered by a headache at the start of the semi-final. “I managed to stay calm in the first set even though I wasn't feeling so well.”
It's the second such title match Basilashvili has made in 2018. He hoisted his maiden ATP World Tour title in July at the 500-level clay-court tournament in Hamburg.
Edmund had been 2-0 against Basilashvili in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, and the Brit had the upper hand in the opener, seeing three set points, including two consecutively from 4-5, 15/40 on Basilashvili's serve. But the Georgian erased all three and clinched the opener on his third set point in the tie-break.
Basilashvili's big-hitting from both sides wore down Edmund in the second. The 23-year-old Brit broke back at 3-5 but Basilashvili finished off the semi-final with his third break of the match.
He and Del Potro have played once before, last year at the Rolex Shanghai Masters. Del Potro won in three sets. “It's going to be a really interesting match. I'm really looking forward for it... I think it's going to be a really tough match,” Basilashvili said.