Tallon Griekspoor, who hails from the Netherlands, has an innate need for speed. His tennis career may not have taken the fast lane; those years of slogging it out at the Challenger level were more of a steady drive; nonetheless, at the age of 26, he has finally won his first ATP championship. Griekspoor, who was ranked No. 95 in the world and had broken into the top 50 the previous year after winning six Challenger titles in 2021, defeated Benjamin Bonzi, who was ranked No. 60 in France, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the 2023 ATP Tata Open Maharashtra on Saturday. Griekspoor won the match in three sets. The victory at the ATP 250 event makes him the first Dutchman to win an ATP hard-court championship since former world No. 11 Sjeng Schalken in 2001. It also comes after he was eliminated in the quarterfinals of three tournaments in the previous year.
Griekspoor, who was handed a walkover by first seed Marin Cilic in the quarter-final before sweeping over eighth seed Aslan Karatsev in the semis, remarked that nobody probably anticipated him to win the first championship so early in the season. I mean, the first title has a lot of significance. Back in my hometown, there are a lot of individuals that are engaged in this, including my parents and my two (twin) brothers who also played tennis. To provide pride and happiness to all of these folks is something that matters far more to me than anything else.
Prior to the championship match, the 6’2″ big-serving Dutchman had gone the whole week without dropping a set, winning 30 of the 31 service games. He chose the worst possible moment to lose his second service game and the first set, which he had been leading. At 4-5, after Bonzi had established three set points for himself with a backhand winner, Griekspoor committed a double fault, giving the Frenchman the opportunity to take the set.
while Bonzi displayed a more entrepreneurial approach to his movement around the court. That, on the other hand, would end up being expensive for him. A well-executed lob that the backpedaling Bonzi was unable to reach gave Griekspoor a break in the 11th game of the second set, and he went on to secure the victory with a forehand winner down the line as he was rising to hit it. His service was now under pressure.
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