Men’s Final:  Ryan Harrison (USA) vs.  Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)
The first meeting of these two players who had not dropped a set all tournament was expected to showcase some serious power tennis and it did not disappoint. Basilashvili is capable of hitting the ball so hard without seeming to try because his hand-eye coordination is extraordinary; yet, he can play poorly because he sometimes does not think about court position or recognize when he has his opponent at a disadvantage. These are things that he will improve as he matures, but his raw power and fearless approach to the game are things that are difficult to teach and those are weapons he will maximize as he continues on the Tour.
Harrison knew it would not be an easy match; he was playing a version of himself that was just as good in some areas and better in others, plus he was playing against the pressure of expectation and the tension inherent in trying to win your first title. Both players were tested psychologically and as usual, the player who handled the internal discord better would hoist the trophy at the end. Basilashvili true to form came out swinging and made a ton of unforced errors to quickly lose the first set 6-1. He played much better in the second set but Harrison denied him on every break point opportunity he provided. The pressure mounted with each game as the end appeared nearer for Harrison and farther for Basilashvili. Would Harrison hold on or would Basilashvili find a way to crush the American’s dream of his first title? Harrison held on through sheer determination to win 6-1, 6-4 and won his first ATP World Tour singles title on his first attempt. CONGRATULATIONS!
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