Pouille Storms Into Bucharest Final
Frenchman aims for maiden title
Lucas Pouille will play for his first ATP World Tour title after defeating third seed Federico Delbonis 7-6(4), 6-3 at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Saturday. The 22 year old saved all three break points faced and secured the win in 98 minutes.
“[Delbonis] is a good player and won Marrakech two weeks ago, but I was feeling confident,” Pouille said. “The first set was tough and so was the end of the match. In those moments you have some doubts and feel more pressure. I think today I was more solid in the important moments, I made no mistakes and I am happy to be qualified for my first ATP final.”
Since reaching the quarter-finals of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Guadalajara, Mexico six weeks ago, Pouille has been playing his best tennis, going 9-2 at ATP World Tour events in Miami, Monte-Carlo and Bucharest. In that span, he took out two players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings - David Ferrer in Miami and Richard Gasquet last week in Monte-Carlo. He advanced to his first tour-level final, becoming the first Frenchman to reach the Bucharest title match since Gilles Simon lifted the trophy in 2012.
On Sunday, Pouille will face Fernando Verdasco, who saw off defending champion Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Verdasco won 19 of 24 points on Garcia-Lopez's second serve and secured the win in just under two hours.
"I’m very happy, it's always nice to be in the position to fight for another title,” Verdasco said. “Guillermo and I have know each other since we were kids. We’ve had tough matches and so it was today. I tried to play my game, to serve as well as possible, to be aggressive when needed and to defend well"