Tim van Rijthoven took advantage of an unusual main circuit entry to win his maiden championship at the grass-court event in’s-Hertogenbosch, defeating Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-1 in the final.
Despite the setback, the 25-year-old Dutchman ranked 205th in the world, took 1hr 5min to demolish the Russian, who will reclaim the top spot in the ATP rankings on Monday in place of Novak Djokovic.
Van Rijthoven, who had a wild card for the Dutch tournament, has spent most of his career on the Challenger Tour’s second tier this season.
In his on-court interview, Van Rijthoven, who had not won a tour-level match previous to this week, remarked, “This is new for me; it’s going to take some time getting accustomed to.”
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“This week has been a dream come true. I’d want to thank my staff for being modest this week, going about their business as usual, and not exaggerating the situation.”
“First time in an ATP final, and you demolish the world number two,” Medvedev informed the new winner.
Van Rijthoven was eliminated in the qualifying rounds of the first two majors this year. Still, he is the only one in the Sunday singles finals in’s-Hertogenbosch who can compete at Wimbledon.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Medvedev and the two women’s finalists, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and Russian Ekaterina Sabalenka are barred from competing in the grass-court major.
Alexandrova, ranked 30th in the world, stunned first seed Sabalenka 7-5, 6-0 earlier in the day.
Following her victory in Shenzhen in 2020, this is just Russia’s second career championship.
Sabalenka, the world’s number six player and a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, led 5-4 in the opening set when her game crumbled.
The Belarusian has now given away nine games in a straight, including 31 unforced mistakes. Alexandrova, 27, finished the match with two service victories and an ace, her finest weapon.