Pouille Storms To Budapest Title
Top seed flawless against Bedene
Lucas Pouille didn’t put a foot wrong on Sunday at the Gazprom Hungarian Open in Budapest, storming through the final with a 6-3, 6-1 win over qualifier Aljaz Bedene.
The victory gives Pouille his second ATP World Tour title, with the Frenchman’s maiden trophy coming last year on home soil in Metz. Pouille improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Bedene to 2-0, including a victory this February in Marseille en route to the final (l. Tsonga). He has been in fine form on this clay this season and also reached the semi-finals last week at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
"I feel very happy with the way I started the clay season. To win here gives me a lot of confidence for the future. It's been a great week and it was nice to see the French supporters in the crowd,” said Pouille. “My goal for the next few tournaments is to be at 200 per cent of my capacity, so I will do everything I can to be ready."
Pouille was in danger of not even winning his opening match in Budapest, saving two match points against Jiri Vesely before prevailing in a third-set tie-break. He continued to round into form as the tournament progressed, looking especially impressive in Saturday’s semi-final win over sixth seed Paolo Lorenzi before his dominant performance today.
Bedene’s win streak ends at 16 matches, which included two ATP Challenger Tour titles this month in Sophia Antipolis and Barletta, and six wins this week as he raced through qualifying to the championship match. He drops to 0-2 in ATP World Tour finals, with his last runner-up finish coming in Chennai in January 2015 (l. Wawrinka).
"I'm a little disappointed because I had problems with my finger and felt uncomfortable hitting my shots. I wasn't close to the level I should be at to beat Lucas, but he was playing really well. It was like everything went in for him,” said Bedene. “If I'm going to lose to anyone, it should be against someone who is a good player and a good person, which Lucas is."
The Frenchman started the match in dominant fashion by immediately breaking Bedene to race to a 3-0 lead. Bedene fought off three set points on his serve at 2-5, but Pouille comfortably held in the next game to take the opening set. It continued to be one-way traffic for the top seed in the second set, who won six consecutive games to wrap up the contest in 64 minutes.
Pouille picks up 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and a cheque for € 85,945. Bedene leaves with 150 Emirates ATP Rankings Points and a cheque for € 45,265.