British No 1 triumphs with 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) success
Sunday 21 October 2018 21:33, UK
Kyle Edmund claimed the first ATP Tour singles title of his career by battling back from a set down to beat Gael Monfils and win the European Open.
Edmund will rise to a career-high 14 in the world rankings on the back of a year that has seen him reach his first Grand Slam semi-final in Australia, take over from Andy Murray as the British No 1, and seal a first doubles crown alongside Cameron Norrie in Estoril.
And he has now claimed his first singles title after a tight 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) win over Monfils gave him the trophy in Antwerp.
"I'm obviously very happy. A lot of hard work goes into this. So it's just emotional," Edmund said after receiving the trophy.
"You always remember this one. Gael made me work for it today, that's for sure, so credit to him. I'm just so happy."
Edmund is the first British man not named Andy Murray to win an ATP title in 13 years - since Greg Rusedski in 2005 (Newport).
The Frenchman was more dominant on serve, sending down three aces to Edmund's one, which was enough to hand him the first set.
Edmund immediately fought back in the second set as he went 3-1 up after breaking the Monfils serve and survived a break point of his own to widen the gap. However, his opponent broke back in the seventh game and levelled things up at 4-4 after battling to save his serve.
Edmund got things back on track by winning his serve but he could not prevent it going to a tie-break, but came through it to take the match into a decider.
Gael Monfils is now 7-21 (25%) in ATP finals.
Both players saved the two break points they faced during the third set, meaning the title would be decided by a second tie-break.
This one was much tighter, but a mini-break for 5-3 gave Edmund the crucial advantage and he took his first match point to win.
Edmund was not the only British winner, meanwhile, with Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara defeating third seeds Marcus Daniell of New Zealand and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof 7-5 7-6 (10-8) to take the doubles title in Stockholm.
Completing a good week for the younger generation on the tour, Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Russia's Karen Khachanov also picked up the trophies with impressive victories.
Khachanov breezed past France's third seed Adrian Mannarino 6-2 6-2 to delight the home fans at the Kremlin Cup.
Khachanov has won all three of his tour finals to date, including a win in Marseille in February and victory means he will rise into enter the world's top 20 in the rankings for the first time, surpassing Daniil Medvedev as the top-ranked Russian.
Tsitsipas had already reached a couple of finals this year, twice losing to Rafael Nadal including the Toronto Masters, but faced with Latvia's Ernest Gulbis, the third seed was too strong.
The 20-year-old wrapped up a 6-4 6-4 success to become the first Greek man to win an ATP title and ensure the Stockholm Open will always remain a memorable tournament for the highly-rated Greek star.
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