SkiStar Swedish Open, Bastad
Men’s Final:  Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs.  Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Ramos-Vinolas had to overcome many obstacles en route to this final. He dispatched the number one seed, David Ferrer, in the semifinals, a player he had never beaten in six previous attempts. Today his opponent was Verdasco, a player he had not beaten but once and that was in 2012 (the year he made it to his first singles final). Could he defeat him today and win his first title? What is the difference in his game now versus a few years ago? He is beginning to see the results of his hard work and perseverance. Success breeds success and with each victory, his confidence has grown.
Ramos-Vinolas turned the corner in his career mentally when he made the quarterfinals at Roland Garros earlier this year, his first time in the quarterfinals of a Major. He defeated Milos Raonic, a top ten player, fairly comfortably and that was the moment the switched clicked in his mind that he can compete with the top players and win. Yet belief alone does not translate into victory, he had to back that up by staying physically fit and mentally committed to achieving success, which for every tennis player means, winning titles. Today he defeated Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, a player who has peaked and is now on the downward slope of his career. Although Verdasco is still a threat on any surface, he has lost his mental edge and it showed today. He was tentative with his shots, while Ramos-Vinolas confidently attacked every ball. He was rewarded with his first career ATP World Tour singles title.