Aussie tennis’ ‘next big thing’ wins title

Australian tennis is in a great place with one of the rising stars of the mens game coming of age with his first ATP title in Singapore.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin has claimed his maiden ATP title with a three set win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in three sets.

The Aussie 21-year-old appeared like he could barely believe it after the result, with a smile plastered across his face as he downed his 23-year-old opponent.

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It was Popyrin’s first ATP Final but he appeared comfortable on the big stage as he bounced back after losing the first set to win 4-6 6-0 6-2.

Popyrin was dominant throughout the week, including demolishing former world No. 3 and current World No. 44 in Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the semi-final.

But against the World No. 46 in the final, Popyrin cruised to his first title and will move to World No. 82, his highest ever ranking.

It makes five current Australian mens players who have won titles on the ATP Tour.

The commentators said it “you get the feeling that there will be plenty more moments like this in the career of Alexei Popyrin”.

Popyrin has been a strong performer in Grand Slams, having moved past the first round in each of the majors in his career so far.

He even upset Belgian David Goffin in the first round of the Australian Open before South African Lloyd Harris defeated him in round two with back to back five-setters taking its toll.

Popyrin said the win would hold a special place in his heart.

“I’ll definitely have very fond memories of Singapore now, I’ll definitely remember this for the rest of my life,” he said.

“We put a lot of hard work in in the pre-season and it’s paying off in the start of the year I’ve had. In Australia I felt really good so it’s just good to see all the hard work paying off.

“My family behind the scenes, they’ve sacrificed so much for me and to finally win a tournament just shows how much hard work they put in with me also. This is for them 100 per cent.”

Bublik kept it short and said he told Popyrin what he though of his win at the net but paid tribute to the young Aussie.

“His first final, his first title, I have four finals, which hurts now but just congratulate you and next time we’ll see if we can face in the final,” Bublik said.

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