MARRAKECH, April 10, 2016
With Federico Delbonis a new champion was crowned at the 32nd edition of the Grand Prix Hassan II taking place at the tournament’s new home in Marrakech. The fourth seed from Argentina defeated third favourite Borna Coric in Sunday’s final in hot and sunny conditions, winning 6-2, 6-4.
The Croatian teenager reached the title match by playing only two encounters. After a first round bye and a second round walkover from Simone Bolelli, he ousted 2007 champion Paul-Henri Mathieu in a quarterfinal showdown that lasted more than three hours before beating eighth seed Jiri Vesely in the stage of the final four.
Delbonis didn’t drop a set en route to the final and was the more solid player right from the beginning. In front of almost fully packed stands, the world number 47 saved all three break points he faced and converted three of his own. Coric was looking for his rhythm throughout the match and produced too many unforced errors, overcooking a couple of baseline shots. Delbonis won 55% of the total points and eventually converted his first match point after one hour and 29 minutes.
“I’m very happy to win again on the ATP World Tour. I played at a great level today and it’s great to lift the trophy here. I took my chances, but it was not easy. In the end, I did my job and got the victory. This is what I work for. To win at this level, you have to be mentally focused the whole match,” Delbonis told after claiming his second tour title following his triumph in Sao Paulo 2014. The Argentine takes away €82,450 in prize money as well as 250 ATP ranking points and will return to the top 40 on Monday.
Coric was understandably disappointed, as his bid of becoming the first teen titlist on the ATP World Tour since 2008 has been denied.
“It was a tough match for me today. I didn’t find any solutions. I had an opportunity in the second set but unfortunately I couldn’t break him. Nevertheless, I’m happy with my start in the clay season and I’m looking forward to Monte-Carlo next week,” the 19-year-old Croat told taking on Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening round in Monaco. Delbonis will play Fernando Verdasco.