UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Reilly Opelka won his first ATP Tour title Sunday, beating qualifier Brayden Schnur 6-1, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (7) in the New York Open.
The 6-foot-11 Opelka hit 43 aces for the second straight match, the final one to finally end things after an overturned call had helped him set up match point.
A night after overcoming six match points to beat top-seeded John Isner in the semifinals, Opelka needed six of his own to finish off Schnur in the matchup for first-time finalists.
Schnur, who had never won a tour-level match before arriving in New York and making it into the tournament through qualifying, nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback after getting blown off the court in less than 20 minutes in the first set.
The 154th-ranked Canadian appeared to finally have a match point of his own, but Opelka challenged what initially looked like Schnur’s ace. The serve was ruled out, and Schnur double-faulted on his second serve. Opelka then wrapped it up with the last of his 156 aces in the tournament.
The 21-year-old American had to win second-set tiebreaks to win both his first two matches on the black courts of the Nassau Memorial Veterans Coliseum, and again in the semifinals against Isner, when they combined for 81 aces, the most ever in a three-set match.
Things appeared they would be much easier Sunday. Schnur opted to let Opelka serve first and won the first two points, then won only one more on Opelka’s serve in the set. Opelka had a 25-9 edge in points and 9-0 in aces in taking the set easily.
Even after a tougher second set, he had two match points in the tiebreaker. But after only double-faulting once in the semifinals, he had a double fault on the second match point, and Schnur force the deciding set.