Karen Khachanov defeats home favourite Lucas Pouille for Open 13 title in Marseille
"It is the second title in my career, so I am extremely happy"
By Sky Sports Tennis
Last Updated: 25/02/18 6:39pm
Karen Khachanov defeated home favourite Lucas Pouille to claim his second ATP Tour title at the Open 13 Provence.
The Russian world No 47 prevented Pouille securing his second title this month in southern France - after the French No 1 won at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier - with a determined 7-5 3-6 7-5 success.
Khachanov, whose first tournament victory came at the inaugural Chengdu Open in 2016, fired 16 aces to upset his higher ranked opponent in a one-hour and 49-minute encounter.
"It is the second title in my career, so I am extremely happy," said Khachanov.
"I just need to keep working and keep going. I think both of us played a good match, really solid, and just a few points made the difference."
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The first set saw the 21-year-old ninth seed start the stronger of the two players, but he was broken when serving for the opener, only to respond immediately and serve out at the second opportunity.
Pouille, 24, secured the only break of the second set in the sixth game on his way to forcing a decider, to the delight of his home supporters.
Khachanov prevailed in a tight and tense final set with a decisive break as Pouille served to force a final-set tie-break to secure the championship and back-to-back victories over top-20 players after his semi-final defeat of Tomas Berdych.
Pouille, who was aiming to win his sixth career title, was pleased with his week's efforts and offered high praise for his Russian counterpart.
"It was a good week. Karen is a young player who will be top 20 soon. Congrats to him. Overall it was a great match," Pouille said.
"Another final is always positive. I hope that I can continue to play well in the next few weeks."
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