Edmund Takes New York Open Title

New York Open trophy ceremony (photo: @NYOpen/Twitter)

NEW YORK CITY, February 17, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Only one seed, No. 8 Kyle Edmund of Great Britain, was left when the final of the ATP 250 New York Open was contested on the home of the black court in Uniondale, N.Y., Sunday afternoon.

After the one-hour and 21-minute championship match, there was still just one – Edmund, who won eight of the final nine games.

The 62nd-ranked Edmund, who advanced to his first tour-level final in 16 months, dropped only one set this week en route to achieving an impressive 7-5, 6-1 victory over unseeded Andreas Seppi from Italy. With his second-career title, Edmund will move up to No. 44. The 25-year-old Briton fired 11 service aces and won 94 percent of his first-serve points. He did not face any break points on his serve during the entire match.

“This is great to be back in a final, playing the matches you want to be playing,” Edmund said, quoted by the ATP Tour website after his 6-1, 6-4 semifinal win over #NextGenATP rising star Miomir Kechmanovic of Serbia on Saturday. “I obviously want to go all the way, but I’m enjoying my tennis. I’ve kept improving and learning with each match.”

Edmund’s 7-3 win-loss record thus far in 2020 reflects a steady improvement in his game and in his attitude this season. It comes after finishing last year 17-22 and ranked 69th.

Meanwhile, the 35-year-old veteran Seppi, who has made 59 straight Grand Slam appearances, reached the New York Open final after ending qualifier Jason Jung’s dream run with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Taiwan native. He came into his match with Edmund ranked 98th and seeking his first tour-level title since 2012.

“When you’re in the semifinals or final,” said Seppi, “of course you want to win the title. … I’ll just try my best.”

Although Seppi came up short on Sunday – he was outpointed 69-44 by Edmund – his ranking will improve by 30 places to No. 68 when the ATP Rankings are updated Monday. Although his career win-loss record in tour-level finals dropped to 3-7, he remained upbeat in accept his runner-up trophy. “Kyle played a good match today and he deserved to win,” Seppi said during his brief remarks during the trophy ceremony. “I enjoyed my time on this court and played some good matches this week. I’ll take the positives from here and move forward.”

Edmund came in leading his head-to-head against Seppi 4-1, including a straight-set victory in Auckland, New Zealand, last month, and improved it to 5-1 – all on hard courts. After accepting his championship trophy, he said, “There’s a lot of hard work throughout the year, a lot of ups and downs that you don’t see behind the scenes. To win this title means a lot to me.”

Inglot/Qureshi win first doubles title as team

Dominic Inglot of Great Britain and Assam-Ul-Hag Qureshi from Pakistan won their first ATP Tour doubles title as a team with their 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) win over the American duo Steve Johnson and Reilly Opelka. The British-Pakistani duo formed at the beginning of the season and finished runner-up in Montpellier last week. The title was the 14th tour-level doubles crown for Inglot and 18th for Qureshi.

“They put up an absolute fight and it’s never over until it’s over,” Inglot said. “We were panicking when they kept breaking up, so pulling this out means a lot. Assam and I had a tough week losing in the final last week (to Nikola Cacic of Serbia and Mate Pavic from Croatia). So, I’m glad we were able to make it one step further here.”