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Australia's Alexei Popyrin celebrates beating Croatia's Marin Cilic in their men's

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin celebrates beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic in their men’s singles semi-final at the Singapore Tennis Open on Saturday, Feb 27, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

(Updated: )

SINGAPORE: Australia’s Alexei Popyrin stormed back from a set down to beat Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 and clinch his first ATP Tour title at the Singapore Tennis Open on Sunday (Feb 28).

Popyrin fired 11 aces and broke serve five times to hand fourth seed Bublik – who is still searching for his first title – a fourth defeat in a final.

“We put in a lot of hard work in preseason and it’s paying off,” Popyrin said in an on-court interview.

“Also 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, and this is for them, this is for them 100 per cent.”

The 21-year-old, who upset Marin Cilic in the last four, made a slow start and dropped the opening set but produced an instant response, breaking Bublik’s serve three times in the second to hand out a rare bagel.

The former junior French Open champion did not let up in the third, surging to a 4-2 lead before closing out the victory when Bublik double-faulted.

He becomes the second player to win a maiden title this year after Briton Dan Evans triumphed at the Murray River Open.

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