Watch: Amazing Andujar: No. 1,824 To Titlist In Two Months
Spaniard wins fourth tour-level title
Pablo Andujar became the lowest-ranked ATP World Tour champion in 20 years on Sunday, beating first-time finalist Kyle Edmund 6-2, 6-2 to win the Grand Prix Hassan II for a record third time.
The Spaniard, who also won the event in 2011 and 2012 in Casablanca, overcame the Australian Open semi-finalist in 82 minutes to become the most successful player in the history of the tournament, which began in 1990.
"I played very well during the whole match," said Andujar. "Trying to make him move as much as I could. He attacks a lot and is a very strong player. I was very solid today and I'm very happy about that."
The World No. 355 is the lowest-ranked tour-level titlist since Lleyton Hewitt, who lifted his maiden title in Adelaide at World No. 550 in 1998. Andujar has now won three of his four ATP World Tour titles in Morocco with his other victory coming in Gstaad four years ago.
The 32-year-old raced out to a 5-1 lead, breaking Edmund in each of his opening three service games to establish control of the match, before taking a one-set advantage in the eighth game after saving two break points. Edmund had been broken just three times this week heading into the championship match.
The Spaniard continued to find success against the 23-year-old’s serve in the second set, winning 67 per cent of points while returning off the Edmund first serve. Andujar was once again clinical, breaking on all three break-point opportunities created before once again navigating his way through a tough eighth service game to clinch the title in Marrakech.
Ranked as low as World No. 1,824 on 12 February after three elbow surgeries had threatened his career, Andujar now finds himself on a ten-match winning streak after becoming the first man since Ryan Harrison in 2017 to win ATP Challenger Tour and ATP World Tour titles in consecutive weeks.
"I always believed that I could come back, otherwise I wouldn't have tried," reflected Andujar.
World No. 26 Edmund was bidding to win his first ATP World Tour title in his maiden championship match at tour-level. With victory, he would also have become just the seventh player from Great Britain, in the history of the ATP Rankings, to reach the Top 20.
"For me it was a good tournament... it was great experience for me," said Edmund. "It's been a good year so far, it's not the result I wanted, but nevertheless a good week for me."
Andujar will receive 250 ATP Ranking points and €85,000 in prize money for clinching the crown. Edmund earns 150 ATP Rankings points and €44,770.
Did You Know?
Pablo Andujar is the third player to win ATP Challenger Tour and ATP World Tour titles in consecutive weeks in the past five years. In 2014, David Goffin won in Tampere, Finland and Kitzbuhel, and last year Ryan Harrison won in Dallas and Memphis.