Georgian tennis player Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked the 81st in the world, has become the first Georgian to win an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour title. Winning the title moved Basilashvili up to number 35 in the ATP rankings.
Basilashvili defeated two-time Hamburg titlist Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 on Sunday and won the title.
Basilashvili is the fourth qualifier to triumph on the ATP World Tour this season, joining Daniil Medvedev(Sydney), Mirza Basic (Sofia) and Roberto Carballes Baena (Quito). Marco Cecchinato claimed his maiden title in Budapest as a lucky loser.
“I am sure that every player worked so hard for this, but it’s an unbelievable moment for me,” Basilashvili stated after the victory.
Basilashvili reached a career high combined (singles and doubles) of World No. 59 on January 5, 2009. He ended his junior career with a 35–22 record on singles and 14–17 on doubles.
In 2015, he qualified for his first Grand Slam Tournament – Roland Garros, losing in the first round to Thanasi Kokkinakis. Later in the same year he managed to qualify for Wimbledon, where he beat Facundo Bagnis and the 15th seed Feliciano Lopez, advancing to the third round of a major for the first time in his career. Later that year he managed to qualify for US Open too.
In February 2017 Basilashvili participated in the Sofia event, grabbing victories over Adrian Mannarino, 1st seed Dominic Thiem and 8th seed Martin Klizan, before losing to 3rd seed and eventual winner Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals. Basilashvili continued his good form on Memphis Open, where he defeated 1st seed Ivo Karlovic and went to reach the final, but lost to Ryan Harrison in straight sets.
In June 2017, Basilashvili achieved a career-high singles ranking of 51. He reached three semifinals and one final throughout the year.
At the 2017 French Open, after defeating Gilles Simon and Viktor Troicki,Basilashvili lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the third round, winning just one game across three sets.
In July, 2018 he made it into the main draw of the German Open in Hamburg as a qualifier and went on to win the tournament, defeating Leonardo Mayer in the final.
By Thea Morrison