NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan beat Sam Querrey of the United States 7-6 (1), 7-6 (6) in the final of the grass-court Nottingham Open to win his first ATP title on Saturday.
The No. 92-ranked Istomin dropped to his knees with a scream after winning his first title match in a battle of big servers at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament.
“I feel so happy now,” the bespectacled Istomin said in an on-court interview. “I hope it’s the first (title) and not the last one.”
Querrey recovered from 5-2 down in the second set by breaking twice to take it to a tiebreaker, which he led 4-1.
The American was looking to end a three-year wait for a title, having last won in Los Angeles in 2012, and was the only seeded player — at No. 12 — to reach the semifinals in a tournament of upsets.
“He’s a tough player, he’s got a great serve,” Querrey said of Istomin. “He hung in there today when it got tough.”
Istomin dropped just one set on his way to the title, although he was helped by the retirement of defending champion Marcos Baghdatis early in their semifinal on Friday.
That kept Istomin fresh for the final, while Querrey had a tough three-setter against Alexandr Dolgopolov.
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