08:42 PM GMT September 13, 2020
More than 14 months after holding championship point in his maiden ATP Tour final, Miomir Kecmanovic captured his first tour-level trophy at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel on Sunday.
“It means a lot [to win my first ATP Tour title]. I worked so hard for this," said Kecmanovic. "I am definitely happy that I was able to achieve it so quickly.”
The #NextGenATP Serbian converted three of four break points to overcome Yannick Hanfmann 6-4, 6-4 and become the first Serbian to win the ATP 250 event. At last year’s Turkish Airlines Open Antalya, Kecmanovic came within a point of his first title but could not get across the line against Lorenzo Sonego.
“Last year sucked when I couldn’t win the final. I definitely have a lot more experience since then and it means everything to be able to win a title,” said Kecmanovic.
Kecmanovic is the fourth player to capture his first ATP Tour crown this year. The Serbian joins Auckland champion Ugo Humbert, Buenos Aires titlist Casper Ruud and fellow #NextGenATP star Thiago Seyboth Wild, the Santiago winner, in the exclusive club.
Prior to his victory against Hanfmann, the World No. 47 claimed wins against Kei Nishikori, Jordan Thompson, Federico Delbonis and Marc-Andrea Huesler to reach his second ATP Tour final. Kecmanovic, who improves to 14-6 this year, was appearing in his third semi-final of the year after runs to the last four at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and New York Open.
Hanfmann was also attempting to capture his first tour-level trophy. The German won six matches from qualifying to reach his second ATP Tour championship match. Hanfmann also finished as a runner-up on clay at the 2017 Swiss Open Gstaad.
Kecmanovic made a quick start to the championship match, playing well from the back of the court to force his opponent to try and shorten points. The 21-year-old extracted multiple drop shot errors from his opponent and drove backhands up the line in key moments to establish a 6-4, 2-0 lead.
After trading breaks, Kecmanovic played with aggression to save two break points when serving for the match at 5-4. On his second championship point, the Belgrade native collapsed to the clay as Hanfmann failed to find the court with his backhand return.
“[The last game] wasn’t pretty, it was definitely difficult,” said Kecmanovic. “I just tried not to think that it was potentially the last game and I just tried to hit my serves at the right spot. Thankfully, I was able to do that.”
Kecmanovic earns 250 FedEx ATP Rankings points and €24,880. Hanfmann collects 150 points and €19,795.