Tennis: Opelka earns first Tour title with New York win over Schnur

(Reuters) – Reilly Opelka blasted 43 aces on the way to winning his first ATP Tour title with a 6-1 6-7(7) 7-6(7) victory over Canadian Brayden Schnur at the New York Open on Sunday.

The 21-year-old American paved the way for the victory by successfully challenging what Schnur thought was an ace at 7-7 in the final tiebreak.

Schnur’s shot was shown to be just out, so instead of having championship point the Canadian had a second serve, which he netted.

Opelka then slammed in his 43rd ace of the match for the victory. He had the same number of aces in beating top seed John Isner in their semi-final on Saturday.

“This is definitely what I’m most proud of,” Opelka told reporters. “I was tough mentally, especially losing a lot of first sets this week, and my first serve really helped me out. I was able to play clutch in those big moments.”

Opelka easily won the opening set against Schnur but the Canadian rebounded in the second by saving two championship points in a tiebreak and claiming the set when Opelka double faulted.

Schnur had never won an ATP Tour main draw match before this week, and won two qualifying matches just to get into the tournament.

“It’s a dream come true for me. This week showed that I belong in these big tournaments and playing against the top guys,” Schnur said.

“It’s unfortunate the way it ended because I left it all out there and did everything I could, but that’s how sports go sometimes.”

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, Additional reporting by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/Peter Rutherford)