ACAPULCO • Nick Kyrgios capped a scintillating run in Acapulco, Mexico with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over tennis' world No. 3 Alexander Zverev on Saturday to claim his first ATP title in more than a year.
The Australian defeated three top-10 players, including second-ranked Rafael Nadal, on the way to his fifth career ATP title.
In a drama-filled week that saw him shake off hostile crowds, illness, a hand injury and moments of malaise - not to mention a post-match scolding from Nadal - the final was a remarkably straightforward affair.
The world No. 72, whose last title came in Brisbane in January last year, had spent more than nine hours on court in his four prior matches, but needed just 11/2 hours to dispatch his German opponent.
After improving his career head-to-head record to 4-3, Kyrgios said post-match: "I just chucked in a lot of drop shots, tried to keep him guessing, that's all you can do.
"He's super-fit, so he's going to grind you down... I tried to keep the points short when I could.
"You know, I lack on the physical side a little bit. But today, I served well and just played the clutch points pretty well."
While Kyrgios has embraced his pantomime villain status, Zverev admitted that he had been a "real champion this week", saying: "Really, he's the one who deserves to win it."
The former world No. 13 returned the compliments after being presented with the championship silver pear trophy and a black sombrero, saying: "You're tame, you're so professional, you're an example to any tennis player.
"I can take a leaf out of your book and maybe I can catch you on some titles one day."
In the women's draw, China's Wang Yafan rallied from a set and a break down to capture her first WTA title, defeating American Sofia Kenin 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The world No. 65, playing in her first WTA singles final, outlasted her 35th-ranked opponent, who was seeking to add to her maiden triumph at January's Hobart International, in two hours and 10 minutes.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS