Britain’s Daniel Smethurst beat Czech Jan Minar in the men’s singles final at the Aegon GB Pro-Series in Sunderland on Saturday in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
With his strong serving helping him to the win, Smethurst overcame his opponent who was once ranked 177th in the world.
After the match, Smethurst said: “I’ve played well all the way through the match and I was just really trying to take my chances.
“I didn’t get that many but I felt like I did [take them] when I had them so pretty happy with the performance.”
The win also meant that the Brit completed a double title winning week after winning the Men’s doubles tournament with fellow Brit Alexander Ward having beaten Lewis Burton and Daniel Evans 7-5, 7-6(4) – a feat Smethurst believes was a great way to end a hard few months.
“It’s been a long, long block of tournaments so to finish off with this, it’s a good feeling,” he added.
The match was tight in the early exchanges but 4th seed Smethurst produced a brilliant drop shot in the fifth game to break serve against Minar.
Then in the eighth game he managed to salvage two more break points when it appeared that Minar had a route back into the set.
Minar was made to pay for not taking his chance when he was broken for a second time in the following game, allowing Smethurst to take the first set.
The second set was even tighter than the first with both players finding their service rhythms to keep it on serve and not really give their opponents a look in.
When Smethurst did have a chance to break, Czech 8th seed Minar produced some good recovering shots to keep himself in the game and hold serve when he looked in trouble.
However, Smethurst did manage to break the Czech’s serve in the tenth game to take the second set and the match 6-3, 6-4.
“I think I found my serve rhythm unbelievable today and he didn’t,” continued Smethurst after winning the title.
“He had one 15-40 and I hit two good serves to steady the ship, but apart from that he didn’t really have any chances.”
Just as Smethurst claimed his service game helped him win, Minar, who had beaten three Brits on the way to the final, believed it was his service rhythm which let him down.
After the defeat he said: “I started OK, I had a little chance in the first two games but my rhythm was bad and he played better and better.
“I lost my serve twice in the first set and in the second set I thought it was 50-50 but I lost the last game when I was under-pressure.
“ But he was playing good, serving a lot of aces, and I didn’t serve any.”
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