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Tennis news - Nikoloz Basilashvili stuns ailing Juan Martin del Potro for Beijing title

Basilashvili stuns ailing Del Potro for Beijing title
By Reuters

07/10/2018 at 16:21Updated 07/10/2018 at 17:09

Nikoloz Basilashvili stunned an off-colour Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-4 in the China Open final on Sunday to claim his second trophy of the season.

Hamburg champion Basilashvili broke Del Potro in the third game with a series of powerful shots from the baseline before taking the opening set.

U.S. Open finalist Del Potro was clearly feeling the effects of illness as he struggled to move freely on the court during the early exchanges.

Del Potro, who has reportedly been fighting a cold, came out all guns blazing in the second set and relied on his big serves to match the world number 34 up to 4-4.

Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia hold the winner's trophy after winning his Men's Singles Finals match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on day 9 of the 2018 China Open at the China National Tennis Center on October 7, 2018 in Beijing, China.

Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia hold the winner's trophy after winning his Men's Singles Finals match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on day 9 of the 2018 China Open at the China National Tennis Center on October 7, 2018 in Beijing, China.Getty Images

Georgia's Basilashvili held firm, however, and got the vital break in the seventh game to close out the victory on his third match point in an hour and 39 minutes.

The 26-year-old Basilashvili, who saved all seven break points he faced in the contest, took his head-to-head record with world number four Del Potro to 1-1.

Despite missing out on a third title of the year, Del Potro can be satisfied with his performance in Beijing, as the 30-year-old qualified for next month's season-ending ATP Finals in London, joining Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

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