Grigor Dimitrov won the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest on Sunday, defeating defending champion Lukas Rosol in the final.
The Bulgarian completed a 7-6, 6-1 victory over his Czech opponent to win his third ATP singles title and his second of 2014.
This was the first meeting between the pair, and world number 16 Dimitrov came into the match as favourite, being ranked 27 places higher than world number 43 Rosol.
It was Dimitrov who took an early advantage in the match, breaking Rosol’s serve in his opening service game, before he was broken back immediately.
Frustration could have set in for the 22-year-old, who then squandered two set points at 15-40 when leading 5-6, but he kept his composure to sail through the first set tie-break 7-1.
Dimitrov never looked back from that position, and he got another early break in the second set, before breaking Rosol again to love at 3-1. He then won the last two games to complete the win in 81 minutes.
Dimitrov felt his performance on Sunday was stronger than his previous three, and felt far more comfortable in the second set.
“It feels good to have won,” he said. “I lifted my game, not having been happy with my previous matches in the tournament. I knew I had to lift my level, especially after the first set.”
The Bulgarian number one won eight sets, did not lose a single set on his way to winning the tournament, and he is now closer to being in the world’s top 10 rankings.
The world number 16 has been enjoying a strong run of form recently, as he also won an ATP World Tour 500 series tournament in Acapulco in February, and this was the first of his career that had been won on a clay court surface.
He has improved his chances of being seeded in the top 10 for the French Open at the end of May, and he will be given confidence by his recent form on the red dirt, albeit as the number one seed.
Rosol missed out on the chance to win the tournament for a second successive year, which remains as the only singles title of his career so far, and Bucharest remains the only destination where he has reached a final.
Had he done so, he would have been only the second player to retain the title, after Gilles Simon completed back-to-back wins there in 2008.
But the man who beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012 was happy with his performance over the course of the week, and paid tribute to Dimitrov.
He said: “A run to a final was very good. It was a perfect week, 150 (ranking) points you make every month.
"If you had told me I would have reached the semi-finals at the start of the week, I would have taken it. Grigor was just amazing today. I played good tennis, but Grigor was better on the court and I had no answer. I am sure he will break into the top 10 very soon.”
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