Verdasco Beats Pouille For Bucharest Crown
Spaniard returns to the winners' circle
Fernando Verdasco captured his first ATP World Tour title in two years on Monday at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy.
Verdasco swept past first-time finalist Lucas Pouille, part of the ATP's Next Generation, 6-3, 6-2 in 75 minutes.
"I'm very happy because I won this trophy," said Verdasco. "It was a long time since I was in this position, to win a tournament or to play in a final.
"It's not easy to wait a day to play. It wasn't stressful, but hard. When it rains you have to be ready to play at every moment, especially if it is a final, not a first round. I wanted to play, no matter what. We did play, even if the last game was complicated when it started raining again. I'm glad that it all ended there."
The 32-year-old Spaniard improved to 7-13 in finals by lifting his first trophy since April 2014 at Houston (d. Almagro). He earned €82,450 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts in Bucharest.
Verdasco saved three break points in a 17-point third game before breaking Pouille to love. He went on to open up a 4-1 lead and completed the 43-set on his first set point opportunity.
The World No. 60 carried the momentum into the second set, breaking Pouille to love in the opening game. He took a 5-1 lead courtesy of another break to 30 in the fifth game. Verdasco is now 13-7 on the season.
It was the first title match to be carried over to a Monday since 5 October 2015, when Tomas Berdych overcame Guillermo Garcia-Lopez for the Shenzhen title.
The 22-year-old Pouille goes onto his next tournament with €43,430 and 150 points. He had been trying to become first French winner since Gilles Simon in 2012.
"It was not easy to play my first final in these conditions," said Pouille. "We had to wait for a long time. We didn’t know when we would play. However, it was the same conditions for both players and Fernando just played better than me today.
"I had some break points in the first set, it was close and very intense from the beginning. Then I started the second set poorly and Fernando played some really good tennis. He didn’t give me many points. Congratulations to him. As far as I am concerned, despite the loss, it was a positive week and I hope to keep on improving in the coming weeks."