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Spain’s Garcia Lopez wins Thailand Open


Madrid : Spain’s Guillermo Garcia Lopez defeated Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the final of the Thailand Open Sunday.

Garcia Lopez, who made it into the final by defeating world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals Saturday, dropped to his knees and kissed the main court at Bangkok’s Impact Arena arena after championship point.

The 53rd-ranked Spaniard, who was playing in only the third final of his career, had a career week, becoming the first player ranked outside the top 50 to beat the world No.1 since 2007.

“It’s been an unbelievable week for me, from the first round to the final,” Garcia Lopez said.

The 27-year-old Garcia Lopez, who won his first title in 2009 in Kitzbuhel, became the eighth Spaniard to win a title this year and pushed Spain’s total tennis titles for the season to 18.

“Each match is different. I think I played relaxed, enjoying my game, and everything has been perfect. It’s hard to explain how I feel right now and what it means, but I feel very happy inside,” Garcia Lopez said.

The Spaniard, who received a check for $99,725, will move up close to No.40 in the world when the new rankings come out Monday.