Ramos-Vinolas Wins First ATP World Tour Title In Bastad
Ramos-Vinolas triumphs in his second final
Albert Ramos-Vinolas played largely nerve-free tennis on Sunday to capture his first ATP World Tour singles title at the SkiStar Swedish Open over fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
Third seed Ramos-Vinolas became the fourth first-time ATP World Tour titlist of the year by beating fifth seed Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 in 86 minutes. Verdasco, who had a three-match winning streak against Ramos-Vinolas, also finished runner-up in the 2013 Bastad final (l. to Berlocq).
"If you don't play with focus 100 per cent of the time, you won't beat anybody," said Ramos-Vinolas. "At the changeover at 5-4 [in the second set], I thought that it was normal to lose my concentration when I was serving for my first title. I am very happy because I recovered well and I came back to win the next game.
"I returned well when he kicked-served to my backhand in the deuce court. I think that was the key to the match. I played just one final before, in Casablanca four years ago, and sometimes I thought I would never have another chance to win a tournament. But I am playing good tennis this year and I am working hard. I will keep working to have other chances."
Ramos-Vinolas earned €82,450 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points after the fourth all-Spanish Bastad final in the Open Era - also 1975 (Orantes d. Higueras), 2007 and 2012 (David Ferrer d. Nicolas Almagro). Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg, the 1974 and 1978-79 Bastad champion, presented Ramos-Vinolas with the trophy.
Ramos-Vinolas got off to a strong start in his second final (2012 Casablanca), taking a 4-1 lead courtesy of service breaks in the third and fifth games. But the confidence of the World No. 35 was momentarily checked when he was broken to 15 by Verdasco in the sixth game. However, he broke for a third time to seal the 36-minute opener.
Ramos-Vinolas saved three break points in two service games of the second set prior to breaking Verdasco for a 5-3 lead. Ramos-Vinolas came within two points of winning, but blinked and gave Verdasco the opportunity to break to 30. But one game later, he joined Nick Kyrgios (Marseille), Diego Schwartzman (Istanbul) and Steve Johnson (Nottingham) as a first-time titlist in 2016. He improved to a 24-19 record on the season (18-12 on clay).
Verdasco, 32, had been attempting to lift his eighth tour-level crown and his second of 2016, following on from the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (d. Pouille) in April. He leaves with €43,430 and 150 points.