American Ryan Harrison won his first career ATP Tour title when he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday in the championship match of the Memphis (Tenn.) Open.
Harrison didn't lose a set all week and gave a dominating performance in the final while downing Basilashvili, who is from the republic of Georgia. The Louisiana native finished off the match in 76 minutes.
The 24-year-old Harrison did not waver all tournament, and in the final he faced 12 break points but recovered each time. He rallied from a 0-40 deficit in the sixth game of the second set and ended the match with his ninth ace.
"I don't think I had a single easy hold in the second set," Harrison said. "He came out and was playing really good tennis. Honestly, he outplayed me most of the second set and I managed to save a bunch of break points and convert on the only one I had. But that happens in tennis. I was fortunate to be the one saving the opportunities."
The 24-year-old Harrison is ranked 62nd in the world and was unseeded in Memphis. Afterward, he was emotional about his first tour victory.
"It's always going to be special, but it's even better here in front of a group of people that drove up from your hometown and have known you since you were 5 years old," Harrison said. "This was the first place I saw a professional tennis match, driving up from Shreveport. I will always remember Memphis. All those emotions were coming out there at the end.
"You have dreams and aspirations in life, and for me it's trying to be as great as I can in tennis. For me to come back here and win this title when I had thought it was impossible, it's amazing."
Harrison is the first American winner of the event at Racquet Club of Memphis since Andy Roddick in 2011.
Basilashvili, bidding to become the first player from Georgia to win an ATP World Tour event, last faced Harrision in a futures event eight years ago. Harrison also won that tournament.
"Ryan was playing unbelievable in the 12 break points," the 24-year-old Basilashvili said. "He was playing really well. If I had just one (break), I could have found the rhythm, but I wasn't able to. He made me play a lot of shots, which helped him. He has been playing very good all week."