'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, THE NETHERLANDS - Dmitry Tursunov of Russia captured the title at the Unicef Open on Saturday with a straight-set win over Croatia's Ivan Dodig.
Tursunov posted a 6-3, 6-2 triumph in the final, waiting out a rain delay in the second set before claiming his seventh career ATP crown. He hadn't won a tournament since capturing the grass-court title in Eastbourne two years ago.
A former top-20 player, three ankle surgeries over the past two years have set Tursunov back. He started the year ranked 197th in the world, but has vaulted to No. 70.
Tursunov has won a pair of Challenger Tour titles in 2011 and reached the final in another lower-level event. On the ATP level, however, he had a match record of just 4-6 entering this week with a semifinal appearance in Marseille his best showing.
"I've had a lot of good results this year, but not on the ATP [level]," said Tursunov. "The start of the year was horrendous for me, in Australia I didn't do very well and I definitely didn't expect myself to be doing the way I'm doing right now. After being in tennis a long time now, I understand one week can be terrible and one week can be great. I happened to do all the right things at the right moments this week and I won."
In Saturday's final, Tursunov converted one break point chance in the first set and saved three against his own serve. The second set was tied at 2-2 when rain halted play, but Tursunov came out of the delay and did not lose another game, breaking serve twice to close it out.
"I came out at 2-2 [after the rain delay] and was playing pretty aggressive," noted Tursunov. "I knew that I had to play aggressive, but also within my limitations. I think my experience to deal with situations like that might have helped me a little bit today."
Tursunov, who improved to 7-2 in ATP finals, pocketed a first prize of $98,700. He'll play Latvia's Ernests Gulbis in the first round at Wimbledon next week.
Dodig was trying for his second career title and second of the year. He beat Michael Berrer in the final of his hometown event in Zagreb back in February and was a semifinal loser to Rafael Nadal in Barcelona.
"I think in the second set, until the rain started, I was finding my game," Dodig remarked. "But in the end, he was much better today on the court and he deserved to win."
A qualifier awaits Dodig in the first round at Wimbledon next week.