Qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena already had a dream week entering the final of the Ecuador Open Quito. The Spaniard was the top seed in qualifying and got through with ease to the main draw and didn't drop a set en route to the quarterfinal.
In the quarterfinals, he met Nicolas Jarry of Chile who took the first set off of him but was still not enough and then took out another qualifier, Andrej Martin, to reach the final. Albert Ramos Viñolas hasn't been in the best of form since reaching his biggest final in Monte Carlo last year but was hoping to capture his second career title over his countryman.
In the end, it was the qualifier Carballes Baena who took home the title 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, his first-career title. The win puts Carballes Baena up from 107 to 76 in the world.
Quick Start For The Qualifier
Entering the final with all the confidence in the world, Carballes Baena got off to a flyer of a start. He found himself two breaks of serve up after a long backhand from Ramos Vinolas. Down 1-5 and trying to stay in the set, the former Monte Carlo finalist began finding some confidence and some terrific shotmaking, including a drop shot winner, helped him get one of the breaks back.
Carballes Baena was the first to see set point but could not take it on the Ramos Viñolas serve. However, he had no problem closing out the set a second time on his serve, taking the opening set 6-3.
Ramos Viñolas Fights Back
Neither man were giving each one a look in on their serve as break points looked hard to come by in the second set. At 4-all in the second, Ramos Viñolas was the one who fell into some trouble, going down 15-30. He was able to get himself out of the hole to get to deuce as he was still made to work hard to keep himself ahead.
The drop shot was once again working wonders for the Spanish number three as Carballes Baena could not get to another one, putting Ramos Viñolas up 5-4. A forehand winner down the line opened up a 0-30 lead for the 30-year-old as he was looking to not only break for the set but break to start the third set as the server. He would get the break for the set at 6-4 and start that final set as the server.
Carballes Baena Takes Home The Title
As you expected on clay, the rallies were grueling, especially with two clay-court specialists on site with Carbaelles Baena and Ramos Viñolas. Like the second set, there wasn't much room for break point opportunities, but the Spanish number three began tightening up in the latter part of the decider.
At 3-all deuce, Carballes Baena finally got to one of the Ramos Viñolas' drop shots and then took the point on an overhead to set up break point. He would get the break of serve to go 4-3 up, and a forehand winner down the line put him a game away from his first-ever title.
Carballes Baena was looking to end it with a break of serve, pushing it to 30-all at 5-3 up. Ramos Viñolas came through with a huge forehand and a wild forehand to force the world number 107 to serve for the match. The former Monte Carlo finalist tightened up badly in the final game, missing a couple of balls into the net but still fought back to deuce. In the end though, Carballes Baena captured the title on an overhead, a fitting way to end after setting up the key break in the final set that way.