Gulbis glee at Delray Beach
Ernests Gulbis denied Edouard Roger-Vasselin a maiden ATP Tour title with a 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 victory in the final of the Delray Beach International.
Latvian qualifier Gulbis, ranked four places below his French opponent at 109 in the world, saved a set point in the 10th game of the match with a stunning backhand winner and broke back on his way to taking his second Delray Beach crown in four years.
"I'm really happy," Gulbis said. "I worked hard. These last nine days were tough. I had a match almost every day, except one day it rained, so I'm exhausted now."
Gulbis won his first career title at Delray Beach in 2010 and his only other ATP crown came in 2011 at Los Angeles, an event that is ending after this year.
A double fault by Gulbis handed Roger-Vasselin a break and a 5-4 lead in the first set, but after his backhand winner denied the Frenchman the set, Gulbis battled back to break even at 5-5.
Gulbis, who was No 21 in the world two years ago, powered into a 4-1 lead in the tie-breaker and calmly closed out the set.
The Latvian broke serve twice more in the second set and offered up no chances for Roger-Vasselin to hit back.