A very satisfying week for the world No.22 Cristian Garin who picked up his home title for the first time, and the first Chilean to do so since 2009.
My biggest objective has always been to keep winning titles, but I was not expecting to win in Chile after the way we started the year, Cristian Garin
The top-seeded Garin, who arrived in Chile for the Dove Men+Care Open in Santiago, without a win to his name this season, defeated Facundo Bagnis from neighbouring Argentina 6-4 6-7(3) 7-5 in the final in which he dropped his first set of the week for his fifth ATP Tour trophy,
For Bagnis, aged 31, the experience of playing in a final was a new one in his 14 years as a pro player.
Currently ranked 105, he produced some excellent performances to reach the title round, defeating three seeded players including American Frances Tiafoe, the fifth seed in the second round.
Unfortunately he couldn’t continue in that vein during the final when one loose service game gave the local player the break he needed
Bagnis replied by trying to tire Garin by extending the rallies but then the Chilean, aged 24, was able to chase down shots thanks to his mobility and speed around the court.
The second set was a tighter contest as Garin saw his early lead evaporate with Bagnis increasingly dictating play. The Argentine was regularly rewarded when he ventured to the net, and levelled the score by taking the tie-break.
There was little to separate them in the third set with both players vying for the upper hand but every tme Garin pulled ahead, he was immediately pulled back.
Garin had to dig deep as he faced break points at 5-5, but he stayed cool and turned the tables in the next game with some big groundstrokes to seal the break for himself at 6-5.
After two hours and 35-minutes, Garin fell to the clay in celebration of his first ATP trophy on home soil.
“My biggest objective has always been to keep winning titles, but I was not expecting to win in Chile after the way we started the year,” Garin said.
“I always kept on training and staying positive, and I’m so happy that it’s paid off… Of course I miss having a crowd especially while I’m playing at home, but I’m very pleased with this result.”