Basilashvili rallies for first Tour title in Hamburg

Despite a dismal second set, Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Leonardo Mayer at the German Tennis Championships for his first career title.

German Tennis Championships winner Nikoloz Basilashvili.   -  Getty Images

Nikoloz Basilashvili claimed his first ATP World Tour title with a 6-4 0-6 7-5 win over defending champion Leonardo Mayer at the German Tennis Championships.

Having knocked out two seeds en route to Sunday's final, qualifier Basilashvili downed world number 36 Mayer, whose only two prior Tour titles came in Hamburg.

Basilashvili's confidence looked sapped in the second set when, having won the first, he allowed his Argentinian opponent to level the match with ease, but an excellent recovery clinched the victory.

The Georgian broke early in the opener and, after a hard-fought battle, Mayer let a crucial break point slip as three consecutive unforced errors allowed his opponent to serve out the set.

Mayer's mistakes continued with two double-faults in the first game of the second, but he fought back to hold.

That looked to have proved a turning point as Basilashvili lost his serve in the following game before another break followed, with Mayer taking complete control and swiftly completing a bagel.

Basilashvili made a steady start to the third, however, and bided his time before taking the second of two break points after hanging in to challenge Mayer in a rally.

Mayer looked to have rescued the match when he piled on the pressure on Basilashvili's serve, but the underdog held firm for a maiden Tour triumph.

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