SOFIA/STARNBERG, November 11, 2023
Adrian Mannarino concluded what could be considered the most impressive season in his extensive tennis career by claiming his third title of the year at the Sofia Open on Saturday. The ATP Tour 250 tournament took place in Bulgaria’s capital city as a single-year licence, replacing the Tel Aviv Watergen Open, which was cancelled due to the outbreak of war in the region.
The 35-year-old from France secured victory over Great Britain’s Jack Draper with a hard-fought 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3 victory in an all-lefty singles final, earning his fifth ATP Tour career title. Mannarino withstood 10 aces and broke his rival’s serve three times to succeed in two hours and 17 minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 11, 2023
“That’s definitely the best way to finish the year. It’s been a great year and I’m a little bit exhausted but it’s really motivating when you’re doing well. I was playing great on court and I’m happy with the result,” said Mannarino after the match.
“I definitely think I’m more experienced now. I’m certainly physically weaker than I was years ago, but I’m finding balance. I compensate them,” the French veteran added during the final press conference.
“Tennis is evolving, nowadays tennis players have a more serious team, and good work in the gym and regime helps you stay on the court longer. Tennis is a nice job that I also make money with. It’s hard to find another job that brings me that kind of income when I retire from tennis. I enjoy my career, it still gives me pleasure. I am motivated and will continue to play. I want to be back on the court every day, as well as work out.”
The Soisy-Sous-Montmorency native earned €85,605 in prize money as well as 250 ATP Ranking points ascending to the 20th position in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Securing victories in Newport, United States and Astana, Kazakhstan prior to claiming the Sofia crown, Mannarino achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first Frenchman since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille in 2017 to win three titles in a single season. Furthermore, his season win total reached an impressive 43, a personal best, with additional support from his notable performance in reaching the final of the Mallorca Championships.
Draper pocketed €49,940 in prize money and 150 ATP Ranking points.
“There were many young fans I saw in the hall,” the 21-year-old Englishman said. “They reminded me of myself growing up around Andy Murray and the rest. I am happy that I had such an audience behind me. Congratulations to Adrian for the win, I’m sorry I didn’t manage to win. The match was all or nothing, especially in the third set. I should have been more aggressive close to the net. I have my weaknesses in the game. When I was young I was smaller and couldn’t use that type of play, but now I practice it in a new body. He didn’t make many mistakes, I tried to upgrade. My coach and I work a lot on weaknesses.”