Pole Hurkacz lifts first ATP trophy at Winston-Salem Open

Hubert Hurkacz of Poland serves to Benoit Paire of France during the men's singles championship final on day eight of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina, on Saturday. — AFP

NEW YORK — Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz outdueled top seed Benoit Paire to earn his first ATP title with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win in the Winston-Salem Open final on Saturday.

Hurkacz, 22, steadied himself through a roller coaster affair, which included a brief rain delay after the second set, and came out on top after two hours and nine minutes.

Hurkacz became the first Polish winner of a tour-level event since Wojtek Fibak at WCT Chicago in 1982.

"That is a lot of time (without a Polish champion). I am so glad that I have been able to win an ATP Tour event,” he said.

"I hope many more guys will join me soon and that I will win some more. It means a lot to me and I am glad that I won this tournament here."

Hurkacz's sparkling week included wins against four consecutive seeded opponents.

Paire was in search of his third title of the season after wins in Lyon and Marrakech but lost the big points down the stretch.

He was nonetheless satisfied with a solid week ahead of Flushing Meadows.

"For me it was a good week,” said Paire. "Honestly, I could have lost in (my second match) so it was really good to be in the final.” — Reuters