Dzumhur Downs Mannarino, Lifts Third Title
After collecting his first two tour-level trophies in Russia last season, Damir Dzumhur lifted his third ATP World Tour title with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 victory over Adrian Mannarino at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya on Saturday.
"It feels great," said Dzumhur. "[This is my] third title, the first this year and my first ever on grass. I didn't expect this one, especially because it is the surface [on which] I play one or two tournaments each year. But it seems, from next year, I should play much more."
Dzumhur, who won his first two ATP World Tour titles in St. Petersburg (d. Fognini) and Moscow (d. Berankis), hit eight aces and won 65 per cent of second-serve return points to improve to 3-1 in championship matches at tour-level. World No. 30 Dzumhur is projected to rise to a career-high No. 23 ATP Ranking on 1 July.
In 2017, Dzumhur became the first player from Bosnia & Herzegovina to win an ATP World Tour singles title. He is the second player from the country this season to win a tour-level crown after Mirza Basic's title run at the Diema Xtra Sofia Open.
Mannarino was bidding to win his first tour-level title but, after falling in three sets, drops to 0-5 in championship matches. The Frenchman also lost the 2017 Antalya final to Japan's Yuichi Sugita.
"Damir played really well... We both played up and down, but at the end he was more consistent than me," said Mannarino. "He played really well in the big moments and he deserved to win."
Dzumhur entered the championship match with a tournament-leading 26 per cent success rate in return games, and quickly improved upon that statistic with service breaks in the fourth and six games. The 26-year-old injected pace into his groundstrokes, especially on the backhand side, to take a 3-1 lead before doubling his advantage, two games later, with a mix of power and touch on his forehand.
"I tried not to give him a lot of rhythm," said Dzumhur. "[I tried to] mix it with the higher ball, some slice and the lower balls."
Top-seeded Mannarino benefitted from back-to-back volley errors from Dzumhur to secure an early break in the second set and, from there, grew in confidence. The Frenchman improved his level on serve and, after a game of errors from Dzumhur, secured a double-break lead for 5-1. Mannarino, who led the tournament in break points saved prior to the final (18 of 21), then saved another in the seventh game before converting his third set point to force a decider.
"In the second set, I was rushing a little bit at the start of the set and then he started to play good," said Dzumhur.
Backhand errors proved costly for Mannarino in the final set, with three mistakes in the fourth game opening up a 3-1 lead. Dzumhur then regained his opening-set form and clinched a second break at the net to lead 5-1. The second seed then moved up the court once more to convert his second championship point, in the following game, to earn his third tour-level crown.
"After the second set... I was running very well, started to serve very well and [I was] returning on a very high level," said Dzumhur. "When I came back to the game of the first set, I started to feel very comfortable."
Dzumhur receives 250 ATP Ranking points and collects €76,020 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Mannarino gains 150 ATP Ranking points and receives €40,040.
Did You Know?
Damir Dzumhur is now 17-17 at tour-level this season. Dzumhur's best 2018 results prior to winning his first tour-level grass-court title at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya were quarter-final runs at France's Open Sud de France (l. to Gasquet) and Open 13 Provence (l. to Berdych).