History Made: Estrella Burgos Wins First Title In Quito
The recently named Dominican Sportsman of the Year is also the first from the Dominican Republic to achieve such a feat. The World No. 73 is the second player ranked outside the Top 50 to win a title this year following World No. 63 Jiri Vesely, who won in Auckland last month.
After upsetting Thomaz Bellucci in a semi-final match that included a four-hour rain delay on Saturday, Estrella Burgos competed in his first ATP World Tour doubles final, falling with partner Joao Souza to the German team of Gero Kretschmer and Alexander Satschko.
Summoning every bit of remaining energy on Sunday, he struck first in the final, breaking Lopez in the opening game and again to go up 5-2 before serving out the set. Neither player broke serve in the second set, with Lopez leveling the match on his fourth set point.
Estrella Burgos again got off to a strong start in the third, breaking the Spaniard in the second game and creating a 4-1 lead before Lopez came storming back to force a tie-break. Estrella Burgos took advantage of his second match point to close out the two hour and 17-minute match.
"The truth is that Quito has become a very special city for me," Estrella Burgos said. "It actually already was, as I've won Challengers here. Today has been a very tough day for me where I was a set up, and later I lost the tie-break. In the third set I was up a break, and I didn't manage the nerves well.
"I got a little bit nervous, but thanks to God, I relaxed a bit in the tie-break, and I was able to win the mini-break and win the match."
Despite the loss, Lopez claimed his own piece of history in Quito, becoming the ninth player (third active) to strike 7,000 aces in his career. Needing just 10 more to reach the mark, he struck 19 total in the final.
"He practically dominated the whole match," admitted Lopez. "In the tie-break I was ahead, and then I had a very easy backhand shot that I missed and that killed me. It would have put me at 5-4 with two serves. That would have been a good opportunity, but tennis is like this."
The match marks the second over-30 final of the season with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (31) defeating Andreas Seppi (30) for the Zagreb title earlier on Sunday. Last year, there were five all over-30 finals in total.