In a stunning display of determination and resilience, Team Dunlop star, Alexei Popyrin emerged victorious against the 16-time tour-level champion Stan Wawrinka at the ATP 250 Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag. Battling against the unforgiving humid conditions, Popyrin showcased his unwaverin spirit, securing his second ATP Tour title after a thrilling three set match on the Croatian clay!
The final started with an intense battle, however, the first set saw Wawrinka edge out Popyrin, winning the tiebreak 6-7(5). However, the young Australian did not let the set back deter him, and he bounced back in the second set, displaying impressive control and composure, taking the set 6-3.
As the match entered the third set, fate seemed to challenge Popyrin’s chances of victory. In the fourth game of the decisive set, he suffered from a bout of cramp in his right leg, significantly limiting his movement and making it difficult for him to keep up with Wawrinka’s pace. Somehow, despite the physical setback, Popyrin refused to give in and made a the decision to change his tactics. Realizing that he had to take risks, Popyrin unleashed a barrage of aggressive shots, leaving no room for hesitation. The gamble paid off as he managed to break Wawrinka’s serve and maintain his advantage until the end, ultimately securing a hard-earned 6-4 victory in the third set.
The entire match lasted a two hours and 36 minutes! His victory at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag marks a significant milestone in his career, reaffirming his position as a rising star in the tennis world.
Meanwhile, fellow Australian and Team Dunlop player, Max Purcell also made headlines by reaching the finals at the ATP event in Atlanta, partnering with Jordan Thompson. Despite a valiant effort, they narrowly missed out on the title, losing in two tight sets, 7-6, 7-6.
Ans that’s not all! On the women’s side, Amina Anshba demonstrated her consistency and talent on the WTA tour by reaching yet another WTA Final in the Womens doubles, this time at the Ladies Open Lausanne. However, she faced a formidable opponent who proved to be too strong on the day, resulting in a 6-2, 6-1 defeat.