There’s surprise winners, after which there’s surprise winners.
Tim Van Rijthoven certainly falls into the latter.
Consider this: Van Rijthoven had handiest performed in the primary draw of 1 earlier ATP Tour event earlier than getting a wild card for the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. He’d by no means received a name at second-tier ATP Challenger degree and hadn’t received an ATP Tour fit earlier than the beginning of the week. He was once additionally ranked No. 205 on the earth.
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Van Rijthoven, 24, mentioned on Sunday his hope for the event was once to “maybe upset one player”.
He was once talking after sweeping previous soon-to-be international No. 1 Daniil Medvedev within the ultimate in simply 65 mins to cap a dream week. He completed with wins over the 3rd seed Taylor Fritz, moment seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, and the highest seed Medvedev.
He is the lowest-ranked guy to win an ATP Tour name in over a yr.
“The support has been incredible here. The crowd has been amazing and it is a great achievement for me. I never thought I would win the tournament. I wanted to maybe upset one player. But to upset a couple of players and win the title is just incredible.”
On a excursion the place the space between the easiest and the remainder is big, wonder winners don’t come round that regularly, particularly in occasions that includes 3 top-15 avid gamers.
But even though Van Rijthoven was once a wonder champion, he was once indubitably a meriting champion.
He performs a sport this is smartly fitted to grass; a large serve powering him to a tournament-high 57 aces and an competitive method at the forehand regularly taking time clear of his opponent. Against Medvedev he was once outstanding, taking 4 of 10 break-point possibilities and handiest dropping his personal serve as soon as. Medvedev got here into the fit having received a better proportion of go back video games than some other participant on the event.
“Amazing week,” mentioned Medvedev, who will substitute Novak Djokovic as international No. 1 on Monday, in his on-court speech. “You destroyed the No. 2 in the world in straight sets in the final, so I think it must be a good feeling!
“An amazing match today. Keep it going. I remember you from juniors, you have the talent so now you need to make more matches like this and more tournaments like this. Congrats to you and your team.”
While Van Rijthoven was once one thing of an unknown for plenty of earlier than this week, this is in large part as a result of accidents stunting his growth. As a junior he was once ranked No. 13 on the earth and beat present international No. 8 Andrey Rublev on his method to attaining the Wimbledon boys’ singles quarter-finals in 2015. He was once seen as a possible long term Dutch No. 1, however damage problems have supposed he has now not been ready to stick on court docket constantly and has needed to watch on as Botic van de Zandschulp and Tallon Griekspoor have taken up the price for Netherlands tennis.
“In tennis years I feel younger than 24, because I was very unlucky with injuries in the past,” he mentioned on the Rotterdam Open previous this yr.
“Having to perform can make or break you. I am now on the court for myself.”
Earlier this yr Van Rijthoven set to work with former Dutch international No. 52 Igor Sijsling, who lately ended his taking part in occupation. He additionally defined his objectives to wreck into the highest 100 on the earth, a feat this is now inside of touching distance as he’s set to jump as much as international No. 106 after his name win.
“I believe I have it in me and the goal this year is to get to the top 100,” he mentioned in Rotterdam.
“I know it can go fast. This is proven by players like Botic, Tallon or [Aslan] Karatsev.”
Van de Zandschulp has been a large mover at the ATP Tour for the reason that get started of 2021, taking pictures up from out of doors the highest 150 to throughout the peak 30. Griekspoor has loved a equivalent upward thrust, going from across the peak 150 to only out of doors the highest 50 within the ratings.
Could Van Rijthoven surpass each? If he continues to play like he did this week then he’ll undoubtedly be one to observe at Wimbledon, and one to steer clear of for warring parties if he doesn’t get a wild card and has to head via qualifying.
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