Albot saves three championship points as he makes history at Delray Beach
Radu Albot became the first Moldovan player to win an ATP Tour title after defeating Daniel Evans in the Delray Beach Open final.
Albot made history with his 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7) victory over British qualifier Evans at the ATP 250 tournament on Sunday.
The 29-year-old saved three championship points as he rallied past Evans, despite a 56-minute rain delay.
Both players were aggressive from the start and it was Albot who drew first blood, breaking to take a 2-1 lead.
Leaping into tennis history at the @DelrayBeachOpen!@RaduAlbot saves three championship points to d. Daniel Evans 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) and becomes the first Moldovan to win an ATP Tour title. pic.twitter.com/s2FhBTblMS— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) February 25, 2019
Evans – playing his seventh match of the tournament after coming through qualifying – showed great court speed as he responded impressively, getting back on serve immediately before taking the first set after breaking again with a sublime backhand passing shot.
The two continued to serve up stunning winners and Albot flashed a forehand past the Englishman to secure the only break of the second set.
Evans – who upstaged John Isner in the semis – looked to be tiring, but dug in to hold in the first game of the second set after fending off three break points and Albot saved two in the next game as they continued to trade punches.
Albot claimed the break to lead 2-1 when a battling Evans netted a backhand just before rain started to fall, taking the players off court, but the former was not to be denied a maiden crown, saving three match points in the tie-break.