Nick Kyrgios has won his first ATP World Tour title after upsetting fourth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) in the final of the Marseille Open.
The 20-year-old Canberran reached the final by defeating two top 10 players in Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet and he proved too good for 2014 US Open champion Cilic.
Kyrgios did not lose a set all week and did not drop serve in any of his matches.
“I played my first final last year and was looking for my first title,” said Kyrgios, who lost his only other final appearance in Estoril last year.
“But I didn’t really expect to win this title this week after having a couple of weeks off. But from the first round I started playing really well and just gained confidence as I kept winning matches.”
Kyrgios is the first player under the age of 21 to beat top 10 opponents in consecutive matches since Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open.
The win will also boost his world ranking which was at 41st at the start of the week.
“I think I served really, really well again,” added Kyrgios.
“I was serving really well all week. I didn’t get broken once. That was the main thing that was good. And I was able to put pressure on my opponents’ serves a lot when I was going through my service games really quickly.”
Kyrgios was playing just his second tournament of 2016.
Having reached the third round of the Australian Open in January, where he lost to Berdych, he was forced to withdraw from Rotterdam last week due to an elbow injury.
The 27-year-old Cilic fell to a 14-10 finals record. It is the second time he has missed out in the Marseille final, having also finished runner-up in 2011 to Robin Soderling.
“I felt I was getting much closer in that second set,” Cilic said.
“Every game was becoming a little more intense. I felt also that he was becoming a bit more frustrated, which was good for me. I had a chance at the end of the second set to get the break, but he managed to play well.
“I think he played really, really well today. He served amazing. It was difficult also from the back of the court. I think he was returning well, making a lot of returns in the first set. I didn’t adjust well enough on the balls that were coming back.
“Nick was playing high-level tennis in the end, but I wasn’t playing too bad either and that’s something good I can take from the match.”