New Delhi, Dec 8 (UNI) Fifth seed Michail Elgin (Russia) waged a grim battle before overpowering a determined Czech Tomas Cakl in a marathon contest to claim his first ATP title as he won the SAIL Open challenger tennis tournament here today.
In the final which lasted two hours and 40 minutes, the 26-year old Russian emerged 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-3 winner to pocket 7200 dollar as prize money and earn 55 ATP points.
The 27-year-old Cakl received 4240 dollar and added 38 ATP points to his kitty.
Cakl, playing first final in his 18 Challengers this year, found the going tough against Elgin as the Russian dominated the first set.
Elgin, who served and returned well, broke Cakl in the third game and looked set to clinch the set before the Czech came back in the contest breaking the fifth seed in the eighth game to make it 4-4.
Both held their serves to be levelled 6-6 and the set went into the tie-breaker in which Elgin had no problem in outlasting Cakl.
However, in the second set Elgin looked tired and it showed in his game and Cakl took advantage of the situation.
Elgin committed far too many unforced errors and looked totally out of focus. There were four breaks in a row, with Cakl breaking Elgin in the seventh and ninth games but failing to hold on to his eighth and 10th serves. This set also went in to tie-break and the Czech broke into his rival's defence to win it and draw parity (1-1).
In the decider, Cakl's concentration slumped at crucial moments and once he was broken in the third game he virtually threw in the towel as Elgin raced to victory and glory.
''I was confident'' said Elgin but admitted that he had concentration problems in the second set. ''I tried to focus but somehow I could not, but I was in control in the third set.'' ''I am happy to claim my first ATP title,'' said 262 ranked Russian. ''It will help my game and my confidence.'' UNI HSB PDS BST1518