MELBOURNE – Australian Alexei Popyrin has blossomed quietly within the shadows of compatriots Nick Kyrgios and Alex De Minaur in recent times however on Sunday the rangy 21-year-old grabbed the highlight with his maiden ATP title in Singapore.
Having by no means earlier than surmounted the quarter-finals of an ATP occasion, Popyrin overhauled Kazakh Alexander Bublik 4-6 6-0 6-2 within the Singapore Open decider to proceed his eye-catching begin to the season.
Popyrin now has an 8-2 profitable file in 2021, having upset David Goffin within the Australian Open first spherical and former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic within the Singapore semi-finals.
“To have a start like I’m having this year is definitely showing how much work I put in the pre-season,” he advised the ATP web site.
“I keep saying it and I’m going to keep saying it throughout the whole year: I think the work I put in during the pre-season this year was unbelievable.”
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Popyrin, whose rating has now shot to a career-high 82, is one of 5 Australians within the males’s prime 100, with De Minaur (23) main the way in which.
Ash Barty stays world primary within the girls’s facet, with Ajla Tomljanovic (74) second amongst Australians.
Big issues have been anticipated from Popyrin since he received the French Open junior singles title in 2017.
A protege of the France-based academy run by Serena Williams’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Popyrin has reached a number of promising milestones, profitable a match in any respect 4 Grand Slams and making the third spherical on the Australian and U.S. Opens.
Standing 6ft-5in tall, managed by Russian mother and father and outfitted with thumping ground-strokes, Popyrin conforms to the mould of beanpole youths who’re reshaping the lads’s recreation like Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.
So far this season, Popyrin has additionally proven a promising psychological resilience and a ruthless streak to transform his possibilities on courtroom.
In Singapore, he received all 5 tiebreaks he performed on the way in which to the ultimate.
“I think the level-headedness that I had (was key), I was always trying to stay positive, stay calm as much as I could because I knew that I would have opportunities and to take those opportunities, you have to be calm,” he mentioned.
The win will open doorways to tournaments with higher prize money however Popyrin mentioned celebrations can be low-key.
“I’ll celebrate by hopping on a flight in three hours and flying back home to see my family,” he mentioned.
“Maybe I’ll upgrade my ticket to business class, but that’s it.”