(January 17, 2015) In a match between first-time finalists, qualifier Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic defeated France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2 in Auckland to earn his first ATP Tour World title. The 21 year-old world No. 63 is the first Czech to win in Auckland since Jiri Novak in 1996.
En route to the finals Vesely upset world No. 13 Ernests Gulbis and World No. 16 Kevin Anderson.
“It feels amazing to be part of the ATP champions,” said the Czech. “It’s not something that everyone is [able] to achieve, so I’m very grateful for that. It’s a great start for me… I can really see that it’s possible to play with the best guys and I think that’s something very important for me for the future.”
“I was really believing in myself, that my game could be better than his, and I was just trying to be more patient and to put more balls back and just not let him play the game he’d like to play.”
Vesely led the tournament in aces, first and second serve points won, as well as service games won.
“When you get broken by someone who’s serving like this, you feel like it’s slipping away,” said Mannarino. “I was trying to deal with my own game and it was really tough today. I didn’t have the same feeling that I had during the week. I didn’t feel the ball the same way. Unfortunately it happened in the final.”
The win adds Vesely to the list of ATP World Tour title winners born in the 1990s, joining Milos Raonic (6), Grigor Dimitrov (4), David Goffin (2), Bernard Tomic (2) and Federico Delbonis (1).
Vesely will play Viktor Troicki in the first round of the Australian Open. The tournament begins on Monday.