Gojowczyk Storms To Maiden Title In Metz

28-year-old the first German winner in tournament history

One week ago, Peter Gojowczyk was not in the main draw of the Moselle Open. On Sunday, he became the last man standing, claiming his maiden ATP World Tour title in emphatic fashion.

Gojowczyk dominated the Metz final, streaking past seventh seed and home hope Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-2 in 67 minutes. The German qualifier claimed seven matches in eight days to lift his first trophy, completing a stunning run to the title with 14 of 15 sets won.

Gojowczyk's victory is the first for a qualifier in an ATP World Tour final this year, ending an 0-5 skid. He is the first to clinch a title since Nicolas Mahut in 's-Hertogenbosch in 2015.

The 28 year old is also the sixth first-time champion on the ATP World Tour in 2017. Damir Dzumhur added a seventh maiden title with his triumph at the St. Petersburg Open just hours later on Sunday.

First-Time Winners In 2017

Age Tournament
Damir Dzumhur  25  St. Petersburg 
Peter Gojowczyk 28  Metz 
Andrey Rublev 19  Umag 
Yuichi Sugita
Borna Coric
20 Marrakech
Ryan Harrison
Gilles Muller

Gojowczyk refused to concede an inch from the back of the court at Les Arènes de Metz. He would fire 18 winners in the first set, breaking Paire in the 11th game before serving out the opener. The German rolled from there, earning an immediate break to open the second as a forehand struck the net cord and dribbled over. He would pounce on a second serve return down the line for a second break for 3-0, and eventually sealed the win on his first match point as a Paire forehand found the net.

"It was a totally different match, because then it was on grass in Stuttgart," Gojowczyk said of their lone previous tour-level encounter earlier this year, won by Paire. "He was better than me on that day. But I felt much better today and it was only one or two points [to decide] the first set. It was a long rally on the break point. I was serving well all day and that was the difference."

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Gojowczyk did not face a break point throughout the encounter, launching a total of 28 winners, including three aces. He takes home €85,945 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points, rising to a projected career-high of No. 66

It has been a dream season for the 28-year-old Dachau native. He kicked off his 2017 campaign at World No. 189 and would not drop a set en route to the ATP Challenger Tour title in Happy Valley, Australia. 

Another final in Quimper, France, would follow in early February, and he continued his Top 100 ascent with a first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match win in Indian Wells. Gojowczyk later excelled on the grass in July, reaching the second round at Wimbledon as a qualifier and battling to the semis in Newport. It was just his second tour-level semi-final, after a run to the last four in Doha in 2014 (l. to Nadal).

Paire, meanwhile, was bidding for his second career title, having previously prevailed in Bastad in 2015. A Frenchman had lifted the trophy in Metz in seven of the past eight years, entering Sunday's final.

"He didn't miss many shots and it was tough for me," Paire said. "But I'm happy for my week and I'm happy for him because he's a good guy. If I play like I did this week, I think I can do something good [going forward]. There are a lot of positives. And the crowd was unbelievable, supporting me all week."