Nikoloz Basilashvili has made tennis history for Georgia by becoming the country’s first player to claim an ATP World Tour title on Sunday.
The 26 year-old athlete scored the result after a marathon of seven matches at the Association of Tennis Professionals competition in Hamburg on Sunday, capped with the final win against Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.
Edging ahead in the first set, the Georgian athlete suffered a setback in the second in which he conceded all six games to the former two-time ATP title winner.
But the decisive set saw Basilashvili take a break points win for the final score 6:4, 0:6, 7:5 and the trophy with it.
The result has seen Georgia’s already top-ranked player elevated to World No. 35, the highest-ever singles ranking for a Georgian athlete. It is a new high after Irakli Labadze’s World No. 42 in 2004.
Basilashvili told the official ATP World Tour website the win felt "unbelievable” and that it meant "so much to be the only player from Georgia to win an ATP title”.
He also stressed the amount of effort it took to have to play seven matches at the tournament, and revealed he had not even checked the draw of the event to ensure as much focus on performance as possible.
The Georgian also noted the effects of working with Jan De Witt, his new coach who previously worked with players including Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, in achieving the title-winning form.
With the win and the new career-high ranking, Basilashvili also topped the Movers of the Week feature for ATP, which follows players with most promotions in ranking within one week of playing.