MARSEILLE, February 21, 2016
Nick Kyrgios claimed his maiden title on the ATP World Tour, winning Sunday’s final of the Open 13 in Marseille against fourth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6.
Despite receiving a bye in the first round, the Croat has spent more time on the court in three matches than his 20-year-old opponent has in four. Kyrgios appeared in his second tour final after losing to Richard Gasquet in Estoril last year and was the dominant player on court again. Like in most of his matches this week, Kyrgios dictated the majority of the rallies, winning 95% of his first service points and saved the only break point he faced in the 10th game of the second set when he saved a set point for Cilic. With his 17th ace of the match, the Australian sealed victory in one hour and 25 minutes.
“I had the chance to break at 5-4 in the second set but it was difficult from the back of the court. I didn’t adjust good enough on the balls coming back, but he played really really well today. He served amazing throughout the week. Nobody can compare to Ivo’s (Karlovic) serve but for sure he is one of the best servers in tennis nowadays,” Cilic had to admit the defeat but was pleased with his performance this week.
“I am satisfied with the week, as I am moving forward. That’s important to me. Nick was playing high level tennis and I wasn’t playing bad either. That’s the positive I can take from this match,” he stated and is going to play in Acapulco next before he starts the US-American-swing.
“I want to keep this mental level in my game. Now it is going to be slower, on outdoor courts. I would prefer staying indoors but I don’t mind to change. There are some places you feel better than elsewhere. It always depends on the conditions on the court and the balls but I think that Indian Wells and Mimi are two good tournaments for me.”
Kyrgios was obviously happy to claim his maiden title but remained calm and relaxed afterwards. He ended his trophy speech with the only words he knows in French: “J’adore fromage!”
Later in the presse conference, he switched to English again. “I didn’t really expect to win the title here this week after having a couple of weeks off but from the first round I have started to playing really well and I just gained confidence, as I kept winning matches,” the Australian youngster told.
“I served really well all week and didn’t get broken once. That was the main thing. It was good and I was able to put pressure on their serves when I was getting through my own service games very quickly,” Kyrgios said about the key to success.
“It was a good feeling, I am happy but it is just a tennis match,” Kyrgios simply stated when he was asked about not showing too many emotions on the court after claiming his first title. The world number 41 will play the ATP 500 event in Dubai next.
“I am leaving tomorrow morning. I will drive to Nice and then fly to Dubai. It is going to be tough obviously to get there, hit some balls before I play against Klizan. He just won a title. So he is playing some great tennis as well,” Kyrgios said and does not need to much time to adapt to the new conditions.
“I played at the same courts during IPTL, so I know the venue pretty well. I know the sort of surroundings there and I really enjoyed myself there. I think I’ll be ok. It’s pretty quick, it will suit my game very well,” the Australian is confident but has to go back down under, playing the Davis Cup in March.
“I don’t mind the travel. Everytime I get back to Australia, I am pretty happy.”
Listen to the entire press conference: Kyrgios Winner Marseille 2016
Earlier the day, second seeds Mate Pavic and Michael Venus claimed the doubles title, winning 6-2, 6-3 against Jonathan Erlich and Colin Fleming in 58 minutes. Pavic and Venus lifted the trophies in Auckland and Montpellier this season, making it three in Marseille.
“We served and returned well today. We are in a good shape and it has been a good week overall. I am really happy about the way we were playing here but of course we keep working and just trying to get better,” Venus told Tennis TourTalk after claiming their third title on French soil. They lifted the trophies in Nice 2015 and Montpellier earlier this year.
“It’s great here. We like to play indoors on fast surfaces. We also gained some confidence from the victory in Auckland and I think we deserved to win the title here,” Pavic continued and the ATP World Tour Finals might be a goal for the season.
“They keep asking us this after every title,” Pavic laughs. “We are getting closer. Nonetheless, it’s still a long way and far away. We are not even thinking about it.” The 22-year-old Croat also wants to keep forcing his singles career.
“Whenever I can, I try to play some singles but the schedule is pretty tough and we still want to improve our doubles rankings. But I am still young and for sure I try to play singles in the future,” Pavic explained, ranked number 593 in singles and 43 in doubles.
The Kiwi-Croatian combination will face their Open 13 final opponents in the first round of the ATP 500 event in Acapulco again. “We fly out tonight, so we will have a long trip getting there tomorrow morning. We are just trying to get used to the conditions there and just get ready to play, as it will be a difficult match again. We need to get ready for that,” Venus concluded.