Andujar, the unlikely Moroccan champion

Pablo Andujar

Grand Prix Hassan II, Morocco

Men’s Final: [26] Kyle Edmund (GBR) vs. [355] Pablo Andujar (ESP)

It was the first ATP World Tour final for Edmund and the first meeting between the two finalists. Don’t be deceived by the ranking of the Spaniard, in fact, consider it irrelevant. This is his favorite surface and one of his favorite tournaments to play. Like so many tennis players in recent history, Andujar’s ranking dropped precipitously because of injury; an elbow injury that required three surgeries to correct. Once ranked as high as number thirty-two, the Spaniard fell out of the top one-thousand.

Andujar had to work much harder than his opponent to get to the final. Edmund in contrast had not dropped a set prior to getting to the final and was the fresher of the two. Yet, we can never underestimate the impact of pressure on the psyche and body of a player.  The Brit was overwhelmed by the occasion and promptly lost his first two service games. Although he recovered one of the breaks, it was not enough and he dropped his first set of the tournament.

Could Edmund settle down in the second set and play the quality tennis he had been playing all tournament? Unfortunately, the Brit could never find his game and he went down an early break again to start the second set. He had an opportunity to extend the match when Andujar served for the match at 5-2; however, the belief was no longer present. It was an error prone first final for Edmund and while he can take comfort from getting there, he no doubt will be disappointed with his performance.

 

Andujar won his third title in Morocco with the 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Edmund. It’s his fourth career singles title and his first since 2014.

 

SOURCE OF IMAGE:  Zimbio.com (Buda Mendes/Getty Images South America: Pablo Andujar)

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