As the rain fell outside the player’s lounge on Sunday afternoon and the hard court continued to be drenched, Alexandr Dolgopolov relaxed and enjoyed a pasta dish.
He said he did practically nothing during the 2-hour 32-minute rain delay of the Citi Open men’s final. And perhaps that was the key.
He emerged from the delay to outclass Tommy Haas and claim the tournament title with a 6-7 (9-7), 6-4, 6-1 victory at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center.
Haas, who at 34 is 11 years older than Dolgopolov, said he wasn’t able to get going again after the delay.
“But, that’s part of the game, that’s part of life and you try to make the best of it,” said Haas, of Germany. “That’s really no excuse, because my opponent has to deal with the same thing.”
Just like Dolgopolov’s four other opponents this week, Haas was eventually worn down by the Ukrainian’s quick style. Haas said he was prepared for it, but said Dolgopolov is tough when he’s on his game.
That often risky style draws from Dolgopolov’s personality. He said he enjoys taking chances off the court, including racing cars at more than 200 mph.
“I don’t think about the percentages,” said Dolgopolov, who will move to 16th in the ATP rankings with the victory. “I like to do it my way.”
This is his first title since last July, which he said he didn’t think much about. Instead he kept a simple mind-set and approached each match the same.
The server won each game in the first set until Dolgopolov broke Haas in the seventh game. He forced deuce, took advantage of Haas’s double-fault and then trapped Haas near the net before sailing a return past his right side.
Haas had nearly broken Dolgopolov’s serve a game earlier after taking a 30-0 lead on a smooth sliced shot from right to left. He then yielded four straight points to drop the game.
Haas, who will move up to 25th in the rankings, waged back, broke Dolgopolov’s serve and won his own to take a 5-4 lead before a brief rain storm delayed the match. Upon resumption of the match, the pair split two games before the longer delay.
Dolgopolov won the 12th game and forced a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Haas maintained a solid serve, forced Dolgopolov to play from the baseline and used his strength to win the match.
In the second set, Dolgopolov kept Haas in pursuit early on as he moved the ball around the court in a series of rallies.
Dolgopolov controlled the pace throughout the set and eventually pulled away by capturing the last two games.
In the third set, Haas appeared to become fatigued against Dolgopolov’s fast-paced style. Dolgopolov won the first three games as Haas became visibly agitated with himself and the official.
Dolgopolov showed patience with his return game and an aptitude to switch speeds as he won three of the next four games to clinch the match.
Earlier, Alexandria native Treat Huey paired with his former University of Virginia teammate Dominic Inglot to capture their first career ATP titles with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-7 (11-9), 10-5 win over Sam Querrey and Kevin Anderson in the men’s doubles final.
Huey, 26, was a three-time All-Met Player of the Year at St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes before a standout career at Virginia. He spent this summer with the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis.
“I always watched this tournament when I was a little kid and I had a fun week here,” Huey said. “It is always more fun when you win.”