Diego Schwartzman defeated Fernando Verdasco in commanding fashion to claim the Rio Open and his first ATP Tour title in more than a year.
The diminutive Argentinean, whose only previous tournament victory came in Istanbul in 2016, extended his unbeaten record against Verdasco to two matches with a 6-2 6-3 win in the clay-court tournament at Jockey Club Brasileiro.
Schwartzman, who will enter the world’s top 20 for the first time on Monday, had defeated France’s Gael Monfils on his way to Sunday’s final and proved too consistent for his Spanish opponent in the one-hour and twenty-three minute encounter.
The 24-year-old reached the fourth round at the Australian Open last month and has maintained his form, despite the switch in surfaces, to secure the title without losing a set.
Schwartzman saved eight of nine break point opportunities against his serve to underline his fighting qualities and was dominant on the return of serve to break three times in the first set and once in the second.
“I know it is not easy to see an Argentine win here. But thanks for the support.” Schwarzman said during the trophy presentation.
“This title is for my family, my friends and my aunt who is having a hard time.”
The pair will not have to wait long to meet each other next as the pair have been drawn together in the first round in Acapulco – a tournament you can see live on Sky Sports.
Elsewhere, wildcard Frances Tiafoe captured his maiden ATP Tour title with victory against Peter Gojowczyk in the Delray Beach Open final to become the youngest American to win an ATP Tour title in 15 years.
The 20-year-old, who has already beaten Juan Martin del Potro and Denis Shapovalov this season, won 6-1 6-4 against his German counterpart to replace Andy Roddick, who won the 2002 Houston tournament.
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