Vesely bags first title

Novak needed just over an hour to secure a 6-3 6-2 victory and become the first Czech player to win in Auckland since Jiri Novak in 1996.

“It feels amazing to be part of the ATP champions,” Vesely said. “It’s not something that everyone is [able] to achieve, so I’m very grateful for that. It’s a great start for me. I can really see that it’s possible to play with the best guys and I think that’s something very important for me for the future.”

The 21-year-old, who fired 11 aces, added: “I was really believing in myself, that my game could be better than his, and I was just trying to be more patient and to put more balls back and just not let him play the game he’d like to play.”

Mannarino, who like Vesely was also playing in his first final, said: “When you get broken by someone who’s serving like this, you feel like it’s slipping away. I was trying to deal with my own game and it was really tough today.

“I didn’t have the same feeling that I had during the week. I didn’t feel the ball the same way. Unfortunately it happened in the final.”

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