American Tennys Sandgren was left speechless on Saturday after claiming his first ATP tour title with a comprehensive straight sets win over Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the Auckland Classic final.
The 27-year-old Sandgren took just 79 minutes to beat Norrie 6-4, 6-2 to round out a remarkable week of tennis without dropping a set.
“I’m a little lost for words,” a relieved Sandgren said when a Norrie service return went over the baseline to end the match.
“A lot of work, a lot of training, a lot of sacrifice goes into even making a final and to get a win, I’m speechless.”
In a tournament in which none of the seeded players made it to the final four, Sandgren was playing only his second ATP final — having lost in Houston last year — while it was the first for wildcard entrant Norrie.
Sandgren said his extra experience counted.
“I left that match thinking I played a really good one but I left something on the table. Mentally, I wasn’t as good as I could have been so I didn’t want to leave today thinking that I could have been more solid upstairs.”
But there was no hiding the nerves for both players with 29 unforced errors from Norrie and 17 from Sandgren, a quarter-finalist in the Australian Open last year.
Norrie was in trouble at the start of match when he dropped his serve in the opening game.
The New Zealand-raised Briton broke back to level at 2-2 then immediately dropped his serve a second time, as Sandgren sealed the set with an ace.