Meet the first-time titlists of the 2020 ATP season
- 3 players won their first-ever career singles title this season.
Two months and 16 tournaments into the 2020 ATP season, encompassing one Grand Slam tournament, 4 ATP 500 tournaments (Rotterdam, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, and Acapulco), and 11 ATP 250 tournaments, 12 different players have lifted a singles title.
This is in stark contrast to last season where the first 17 tournaments of the season produced as many different winners till Roger Federer won his 28th Masters 1000 crown in Miami to become the first multiple person to win multiple titles in the season.
In his first appearance at the Dubai Open since a quarterfinal loss to Feliciano Lopez in 2016, world no. 1 Novak Djokovic kept hold of his no. 1 ranking, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift his 5th title at the tournament. In the process, the Serb became the 4th player to win multiple titles this season.
On that note, let us meet the first-time titlists of the 2020 season.
#1 Ugo Humbert (Auckland)
21-year-old Frenchman Ugo Humbert beat compatriot Benoit Paire in the first all-French final at the 2020 Auckland Open to become the first player in 2020 to lift his first career singles title.
Following a three-set win over Casper Ruud in the opening round, Humbert reeled off successive straight-set wins over Marco Cecchinato, Denis Shapovalov, and John Isner before beating countryman Paire in a third set tiebreak to lift the title.
With the triumph, Humbert moved into the Top-50 (no. 43) of the world rankings for the first time in his career.
#2 Casper Ruud (Buenos Aires)
Having lost his first singles final at 2019 Houston to Cristian Garin, Casper Ruud came good at the second time of asking when he beat Portugal's Pedro Sousa to claim the 2020 Buenos Aires title.
In a memorable week, Ruud beat Pablo Andujar, Roberto Carballes Baena, and Dusan Lajovic in straight sets before defeating 2019 Cordoba winner Juan Ignacio Londero in a three-set semifinal to book a finals date with Pedro Sousa.
Displaying little signs of nerves, Ruud eased to a 6-1, 6-4 win over his Portuguese opponent to become the first player from Norway to lift an ATP singles title.
The Buenos Aires triumph enabled Ruud to break into the Top 40 (no. 35) of the ATP rankings for the first time, breaking his father Christian Ruud's (no. 39) record of the highest ranking attained by a Norwegian player.
#3 Thiago Seyboth Wild (Santiago)
Arriving at the 2020 Santiago Open with just two singles match wins against his name, wildcard Thiago Seyboth Wild embarked on the best week of his professional career by becoming the youngest Brazilian player to lift an ATP singles title.
The Brazilian teenager beat Facundo Bagnis, Juan Ignacio Londero, Cristian Garin, Renzo Olivo, and recently-crowned Buenos Aires champion Casper Ruud to become the youngest player to win a title in the Latin American 'Golden Swing' since a certain Rafael Nadal won Acapulco in 2005.
Seyboth Wild rose over 70 places to a career-high world no. 113 following his title run in Santiago. With a 6-1 win-loss record for the season, the Brazilian's 85.7% success rate in 2020 is only dwarfed by world no. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is 18-0 for the season following his 5th triumph at the Dubai Open.Published 02 Mar 2020, 13:20 IST