Watch highlights of the 2018 Diema Xtra Sofia Open final, featuring Mirza Basic and Marius Copil. Photo: Lap.bg

Basic Bests Copil For First Title

Bosnian to make Top 100 debut in ATP Rankings

In what was the biggest final of both players’ careers, Mirza Basic overcame the seismic serving of Marius Copil to win 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 6-4 and lift his first-ever ATP World Tour singles trophy at the DIEMA XTRA Sofia Open.

The title makes No.129-ranked Basic the season’s second first-time ATP World Tour titlist after Daniil Medvedev claimed the crown in Sydney last month, and the 26 year old becomes the second player from Bosnia and Herzegovina to win a tour-level title, following compatriot Damir Dzumhur, a two-time titlist last season. Additionally, Basic becomes the first qualifier to win a title at the tour level since Peter Gojowczyk in Metz last season. 

The DIEMA XTRA Sofia Open has been a breakthrough tournament for Basic, who scored a surprising victory over Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals – his first Top 20 win – and only dropped one set en route to the final.

The two tour-level final debutants used the quick indoor conditions of the Arena Armeec Sofia to their advantage. Blasting 12 and 19 aces respectively, Basic and Copil made frequent forays to the net and played several entertaining cat-and-mouse points, with Copil often the aggressor and Basic counterpunching with resolve, particularly off his backhand wing. 

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Despite being broken while serving for the first set, Basic managed to edge ahead with clutch returning in the tie-break and claim it in 47 minutes. In the second set, the script was reversed, with the Romanian running out to an early lead but failing to serve out the set – only to win it in a later tie-break. 

The third set was a test of nerves with each player committing to their game plans in hopes of getting their hands on their first ATP World Tour trophy. After saving break points in the second game, Basic was able to strike at 4-4 and claim the break, which was all he would need to serve out the match. As one last Copil groundstroke sailed long, the Bosnian would drop to his knees in celebration, a champion in two hours, 19 minutes.

“I’m very happy about everything this week. It’s the first title for me and the first final,” said Basic after the final. “Also, I’m very happy for breaking through after the match yesterday... After this week I will finally get in the Top 100. [After] this win, Sofia will always be my special place.”

Basic has had an exceptional run of results at ATP World Tour 250 events, reaching the quarter-finals or better at his past three and each time as a qualifier. In addition to taking home €89,435 in prize money, the Bosnian’s triumph in the Bulgarian capital will see him soar into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings to a projected ranking of No. 76, a career-high.

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"I am very happy to reach my first final," said Copil. "Being here in the last match is something big for me and it motivates me to have more weeks like this. I was a bit tight and had some emotions. I started well, but then I was pushing and wasn't as aggressive as in the matches before."