SYDNEY, January 14, 2017
Gilles Muller claims his first ATP World Tour title in his sixth final, winning the Apia International in Sydney. The 33-year-old Luxembourg native defeated Daniel Evans from Great Britain 7-6, 6-2. Muller had been so close in past years, including in 2016, when he had three championship points against Ivo Karlovic in Newport.
Muller hit 12 aces to finish with 81 for the week, a tournament best. He claimed 75 per cent of his service points in the final to secure victory in one hour and 28 minutes.
“It means a lot. Like you can see, I was pretty emotional out there on the court… For the past two or three years, it was probably my biggest goal to win a title. I always dreamed of that, and I was so close last year… So I was very scared and worried that I was going to be one of those players who never win a title. Now I have it, and it just feels great,” an emotional champion told.
“Everything that happened tonight was like in a movie. Rod Laver there, standing on centre court with the trophy, my kids in the stands, can’t ask for more.”
The title will propel Muller to inside the Top 30 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time in his career. Muller, currently No. 34, is projected to climb to No. 28 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
Try watching this without a tear in your eye! 🏆😢🙌 Gilles Muller in bits after winning ATP Sydney in front of his family. pic.twitter.com/saFzQSlrdM
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) 14. Januar 2017
Evans was playing in his first ATP World Tour final, and is expected to rise 16 spots to a new career high of No. 51 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
“There’s so many good players… It’s always tough. I hope it takes me six years if I get one. I’d sign for it taking that many times if I got one. He got it in the end, and good for him. It was his day today,” the Brtion told afterwards.
Koolhof And Middelkoop Upset Top Seeds
Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop were the last doubles team accepted into the doubles draw but leave as the last pair standing. The team scored the biggest win of their careers by defeating the top seeds and defending champions Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 14 minutes.
The win gives Koolhof/Middelkoop their third ATP World Tour doubles title, having previously prevailed this past season in Sofia and Kitzbuhel.
“We were ready to go play a Challenger in Canberra… We got in, played amazing matches. The emotions are just happiness and joy at the moment. It’s an amazing week,” Koolhof said.
“Some things are so automatic with us. I know exactly when and where he’s putting each ball… That’s the whole thing about doubles. You need to know blindly where you’re going and we’ve mastered this with ourselves,” Middelkoop added.