Radu Albot became the first Moldovan to win an ATP Tour title as he came back to defeat British qualifier Daniel Evans 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) and win the Delray Beach Open title on Sunday.
“It feels unbelievable,” he said afterwards. “You work so much. You work your whole life, your whole career and at the end you win a tournament. This is just a great feeling. I think it’s difficult to put into words.”
Albot broke to take the early lead in the third set, but a rain delay interrupted matters and put a halt on any momentum he may have had. Evans would eventually break back and the set headed into a deciding tiebreak.
From 4-6 down in the breaker, Albot won four consecutive points, the final of which came on an Evans double-fault on match point.
Albot walks away with 250 ATP Rankings points and $97,490, but the most significant prize he earned may be the lasting effect his success can have on tennis in Moldova.
“I’m carrying the flag everywhere in the world,” said Albot. “This means a lot. I hope some kids [from Moldova] can watch tennis…and I can just be their inspiration.”