New Delhi:Pakistan's Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi captured his first ATP Challenger title after sailing past Korea's An Jae Sung in straight sets at DLTA courts in New Delhi on Saturday.
Qureshi defeated An 7-5 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes to take home a prize money of USD 7,200 and 55 valuable ATP points.
The 27-year-old had been in ominous form throughout the tournament and was clearly several notches the rest of the field.
Although at the start of the tournament Qureshi came out unscathed from two successive three-setters, but in the later stages he played some excellent tennis to give credence to his second round entry into Wimbledon this year.
After upsetting top seed Ivo Minar of Czech Republic without breaking a sweat in the quarterfinal, Qureshi was the favourite to win his first Challenger title.
The Pakistan number one had made it to the final of Nottingham event this year; his only final appearance.
"I learnt from my mistakes that I made in that final and I am happy to win my first Challenger title here. Delhi has been very Good for me. I have won five out of seven tournaments I played here," Qureshi said later.
Qureshi lived up to his reputation of a fine server and his power-packed aces zoomed past opponents time and again, bailing him out of trouble on several occasions.
Albeit in the finals today, Qureshi's aces did not come that often and he netted quite a few volleys as well but that did not deter him from taking the risk of charging down the nets.
Qureshi managed 11 aces on Saturday, compared to 19 and 16 in his last two encounters but hit some commendable winners at crucial moments of the match.
But An did well to tackle the big-serving Qureshi with some fine returns and his baseline game was equally impressive. However, he lacked the firepower to match the Pakistani.
In the very first game, Qureshi earned a break point but An managed to save his service. The rest of the games went with serve till Qureshi broke An in the 11th game.
Qureshi got his touch in the second game and laced his serves with more power that rattled An.
The Pakistani broke An in the third game and took a 3-1 lead. He got himself two break points, which he squandered in the fifth.
Qureshi got a little jittery as he closed in on the match and serving at 5-4, he twice double faulted. But that hardly made a difference as Qureshi fired two aces to seal the victory.