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Marseille Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Mikhail Kukushkin to claim second ATP title

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas poses with the trophy, Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Marseille, France Feb 25, 2019, 08.34 AM (IST)

Rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed his second ATP Tour title on Sunday by beating Mikhail Kukushkin in the final of the Marseille event.

The 20-year-old continued his excellent start to the year, which included a run to the Australian Open semi-finals on the back of a fourth-round defeat of Roger Federer, by battling to a 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) victory.

"Winning titles is the thing that I am working for... It is the biggest satisfaction and the biggest joy in tennis," said Tsitsipas, who won his first ATP title in Stockholm last year.

"There was a lot of stress this week because I knew I had to face some good opponents.

"When you care a lot, you tend to be more stressed than usual. I am happy that I got through that stress and played the game that I was supposed to play."

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Tsitsipas went into the week having lost his last two matches to Gael Monfils and Damir Dzumhur, but cruised to the title without dropping a set.

"I lost the spark (after the Australian Open) and I was frustrated because it felt like I couldn't find it again," said Tsitsipas.

"This week, I can say I am really happy because I felt this hunger back again... I really hope it stays the same because there are many good players out there that play for the same prize."

On Sunday, Tsitsipas edged a tight opening set with the first break of the match in game 12, before falling a break behind midway through the second set.

But Kazakh Kukushkin failed to serve for the set when leading 5-4, and Tsistipas pounced to seal victory on his first match point in the tie-break.

Story highlights

'Winning titles is the thing that I am working for... It is the biggest satisfaction and the biggest joy in tennis,' said Tsitsipas.