ATPTour.com’s annual season-in-review sequence seems to be again at 2022’s finest matches, greatest upsets, most dramatic comebacks and extra. Today, we characteristic the first-time ATP Tour title winners of the season.
Securing a match win on the ATP Tour is difficult sufficient, however stringing collectively a sequence of back-to-back victories throughout a single week to elevate a trophy requires even better technical consistency, bodily self-discipline and psychological focus.
This yr, 12 gamers managed that feat for the primary time, hitting a milestone that can ceaselessly stand out within the context of their careers. As a part of our annual season-in-review sequence, ATPTour.com displays on the lineup of stars who clinched their maiden ATP Tour title in 2022.
Thanasi Kokkinakis, Adelaide
Kokkinakis clinched an emotional victory in his hometown on the Adelaide International 2 in January, a reward for the Australian’s dedication and laborious work after a sequence of devastating accidents. His run on the ATP 250 occasion included hard-fought three-set wins towards three of the largest servers on Tour in John Isner, Marin Cilic and Arthur Rinderknech.
“I wouldn’t want to win my first title anywhere else,” stated Kokkinakis after edging Rinderknech 6-7(6), 7-6(5) 6-3 within the closing. “To my household, associates and coaches, what a experience it has been. You have seen me at my lowest lows and now the very best excessive. It’s been a critical journey. For now, I’m so comfortable.”
Kokkinakis kisses the courtroom in Adelaide. Photo Credit: David Mariuz/Tennis Australia
Alexander Bublik, Montpellier
Bublik capped a rock-solid week on the Open Sud de France – Montpellier by claiming the largest win of his profession to seal his maiden tour-level crown. The Kazakh deployed his trademark mixture of big-hitting and deft touches to stun World No. 3 Alexander Zverev in straight units within the championship match on the ATP 250 occasion. It was Bublik’s first victory in 5 championship match appearances.
“I performed 4 finals earlier than and [in] the fifth closing I’ve received towards a terrific participant [in] Sascha,” stated Bublik after his 6-4, 6-3 victory. “It is nice. All my recreation collectively. I used to be serving nicely and returned nicely and saved my nerve. I used to be fortunate [at some] moments, and after I had my possibilities, I used them.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Bublik holds his trophy in Montpellier. Photo Credit: JB Autissier/Panoramic.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, Rotterdam
After his eight earlier tour-level finals all led to disappointment, Auger-Aliassime may have been forgiven for displaying nerves in February when he took on Stefanos Tsitsipas within the closing on the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam. Yet the Canadian barely regarded again as he charged previous the World No. 4 Greek 6-4, 6-2 to interrupt his trophy duck on the ATP 500 occasion.
“It is definitely a dream come true,” Auger-Aliassime, who went on to lift three further titles in a standout 2022 season, told ATPTour.com after his triumph in The Netherlands. “It is something I have been working for and suffering for at times because we all know my story, having lost finals before, so this one is even more special for me.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Pedro Martinez, Santiago
A gruelling week on the Santiago clay ended with a maiden ATP Tour title for Martinez, who got here by means of three-set battles towards top-quality clay-courters Jaume Munar, Alejandro Tabilo and Sebastian Baez to assert victory on the Chile Dove Men+Care Open. The 24-year-old’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 championship match triumph towards Baez made him the fifth Spanish tour-level titlist of a 2022 season that was barely two months outdated.
“We have a extremely good tradition of tennis in Spain, in order that’s what offers you confidence to achieve new issues,” Martinez later informed ATPTour.com. “I hope I can go larger within the rankings and preserve enjoying like this.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Martinez triumphs in Santiago. Photo Credit: Matias Donoso|@chile_open/@chileopentenis
Holger Rune, Munich
“If I look through the week, what a week,” stated Rune after charging to his maiden tour-level crown with out dropping a set at April’s BMW Open by American Express. “I played some unbelievable tennis, really fighting my way through it. To be playing here in Munich and winning my first ATP title in front of such a brilliant crowd, I couldn’t really ask for more.”
Rune’s run included his maiden Top 10 victory towards residence favorite Alexander Zverev within the second spherical earlier than Botic van de Zandschulp’s retirement at 4-3 within the first set of the ultimate noticed the 19-year-old elevate the trophy. It was solely an indication of issues to come back for Rune, who later put collectively a surprising late-season cost to win 19 of his closing 21 matches of the yr, elevate additional trophies in Stockholm and Paris, and break into the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the primary time. Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Rune lifts the trophy in Munich. Photo Credit: Christof Stache/Getty Images.
Sebastian Baez, Estoril
Baez drew inspiration from an unlikely supply en path to his maiden ATP Tour title on the Millennium Estoril Open — his championship match opponent Frances Tiafoe. The Argentine had seen the phrases “Why not me?” on Tiafoe’s bracelet early within the week and wrote them on the digicam lens after every of his victories in Portugal.
When the pair finally met within the closing, it was Baez who charged to a 6-3, 6-2 triumph on the ATP 250 occasion. After receiving the trophy, Baez stated to Tiafoe: “Why not me? And why not you, man?” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Tim van Rijthoven, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Van Rijthoven was nonetheless looking for his maiden main-draw win on the ATP Tour previous to arriving in ‘s-Hertogenbosch for the Libema Open in June. By the top of the week, the No. 205-ranked residence wild card had 5, after a surprising streak of clean-hitting grass-court tennis moved him previous Taylor Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev to turn into the lowest-ranked tour-level titlist of 2022.
“I by no means thought I might win the match,” stated Van Rijthoven, who raced previous Medvedev 6-4, 6-1 to turn into the primary Dutchman to win the ATP 250 occasion since 2003. “I needed to perhaps upset one participant. But to upset a few gamers and win the title is simply unbelievable.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Van Rijthoven celebrates in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Photo Credit: Libema Open.
Maxime Cressy, Newport
With Alexander Bublik main 6-2, 3-0 within the Infosys Hall of Fame Open championship match in Newport, Cressy’s hopes of clinching his maiden ATP Tour title in his third closing have been on the ropes. Yet the American’s unwavering dedication to his serve-and-volley techniques engineered one of many comebacks of the 2022 season, because the 25-year-old rallied to a dramatic 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) victory on the grass-court ATP 250 occasion.
“My dream is to actually make serve and volley nice once more and encourage many individuals to begin enjoying that recreation fashion,” Cressy later informed ATPTour.com. “I’ve seen different gamers do it much more, like Rafa [Nadal]. If I can affect the tennis world and make serve and volley a recreation fashion that individuals get pleasure from and wish to play, it’s going to be huge.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Cressy comes ahead in Newport. Photo Credit: Ben Solomon/International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Francisco Cerundolo, Bastad
Cerundolo’s cost to his maiden tour-level crown on the Nordea Open concurrently banished some disappointing reminiscences of his first ATP Tour closing, a heavy loss to countryman Diego Schwartzman in Buenos Aires in 2021. The 23-year-old Cerundolo saved cool all through his run in Bastad, the place his highly effective baseline hitting took out Casper Ruud and Pablo Carreno Busta earlier than his 7-6(4), 6-2 championship match triumph towards Sebastian Baez.
“Since you’re a little one you think about your self enjoying in these occasions and finals,” stated Cerundolo on the trophy ceremony. “When I misplaced in Buenos Aires, I used to be unhappy, as a result of I used to be at residence and I misplaced badly, however I realized loads from that. I used it in the present day, and I believe I performed a terrific match, a terrific week.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Cerundolo takes the trophy in Bastad. Photo Credit: Nordea Open/Johan Lilja.
Lorenzo Musetti, Hamburg
After letting slip 5 championship factors towards Carlos Alcaraz within the second set of the Hamburg European Open closing, Musetti’s psychological fortitude was put to the final word take a look at on the ATP 500 occasion. The 20-year-old Italian handed with flying colors, finally edging the highest seed 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 after two hours, 47 minutes to prevail in among the finest ATP Tour matches of 2022.
“It was a roller-coaster till the top,” Musetti, who later backed up his Hamburg triumph with a title run in Naples in October, mirrored after the match. “I had so many match factors… But I believe the important thing to the match was to maintain calm and [have] all of the endurance [with] myself as a result of it was actually not simple. Carlos was placing a lot effort within the match factors when he was down, so it was not simple to seek out the power to come back again.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Brandon Nakashima, San Diego
The strain of enjoying at residence shouldn’t be at all times simple to deal with, however Nakashima made it look that approach by surging to his first ATP Tour crown for the lack of only one set all week on the San Diego Open. Later describing the run as “Like a dream”, the American acknowledged the expertise of successful his maiden Tour title was made even sweeter by the very fact he had completed the feat within the metropolis the place he grew up.
“Of course being in my hometown, I get to go residence tonight, rejoice with the group,” stated the 21-year-old after beating Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4 within the closing. “I haven’t got to fly again [like] if we have been some other place. I’m positive we’ll rejoice with all my household down right here, all my coaches… Just get pleasure from this second as a lot as attainable.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Nakashima wins in San Diego. Photo Credit: Will LeFevre.
Marc-Andrea Huesler, Sofia
The solely left-handed first-time winner of the 2022 season, Huesler’s big-serving and exact volleying took him previous a bunch of top-quality opponents, together with Pablo Carreno Busta, Lorenzo Musetti and Holger Rune, to a shock maiden title on the Sofia Open. The 26-year-old, who saved two match factors towards Kamil Majchrzak within the quarter-finals, was the primary Swiss participant to win an ATP Tour title since Roger Federer in 2019.
“This complete week has been a whole fairy story for me,” stated a delighted Huesler on the trophy ceremony after downing Rune 6-4, 7-6(8). “I might have been comfortable to move a few rounds and I’m holding the trophy right here.” Read First-Time Winner Spotlight.
Huesler in motion in Sofia. Photo Credit: Vladimir Stoyanov/LAP.bg.