On his seventh try, Adrian Mannarino finally did it! The 35-years-old Frenchman is finally the Sofia Open Champion.
In all-lefty battle he used his greater experience and stopped 14 year younger Briton Jack Draper from winning his maiden ATP title. Mannarino won the final 7:6 (6), 2:6, 6:3 in 2 hours and 17 minutes on the court.
The Frenchman is one of the biggest fans of the Sofia Open, and so far, he has missed only 2022. In the first tournament edition, he reached the quarter-final and lost to the future champion Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain. Then Mannarino couldn’t pass the first round for three consecutive years. In 2020, again, the future champion – this time Jannik Sinner- stopped him in the semis.
This year, Mannarino went the whole way and triumphed with the trophy. It is his third tour-level title of the season. Earlier this year, the World No. 25 won trophies in Newport (Outdoor/Hard) and Astana (Indoor/Hard). In June played one more final – at Mallorca, but lost to Christopher Eubanks. He won two more titles in his career – outdoor on hard at Winston Salem in 2022 and on grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
The win in Sofia means that Mannarino will finish the season at #20 in Pepperstone ATP Ranking which will be his career high.
“That’s definitely the best way to finish the year,” the Frenchman said post-match. “It’s been a great year and I’m a little bit exhausted but it’s really motivating when you’re doing well. I was playing great on court and I’m happy with the result.”
The dramatic opening-set tie-break saw just a single mini-break, when Draper missed a backhand drop shot into the net at 6/6. The Briton responded well by stepping into the court to dominate set two, and he again fought hard after falling behind by a break in the final set. But ultimately Mannarino’s experience kept the 21-year-old waiting for his first ATP Tour title.
“That was really close'” Mannarino said of the match. “I got a little bit lucky at the end, It could have gone both ways. I don’t know what made the difference today, but it’s like this. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and I’m just a little bit more lucky today. ”
The loss was Draper’s first in his last ten matches, concluding one ATP Challenger Title in Bergamo the previous week. He reached the final, his first on this level, without dropping a set.
Despite the loss the 21-years-old will finish his best ATP season ranked at #61, which is with 21 positions higher than previous week.
The tournament is held with the support of Inbet, Nova Broadcasting Group, А1, Diema Extra, Electrohold, Sofiamed, First Investment Bank, Europa Bullion, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Tourism.