Nikoloz Basilashvili picked up his second title of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 win over an ailing Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the China Open on Sunday. The win moves Basilashvili up to a career-high No. 23 in the world and extends his record for the highest-ever ATP ranking for a player from Georgia.
Basilashvili defeated four Top-50 players on his way to the silverware, the second title of his career: No. 17 Jack Sock, No. 28 Fernando Verdasco, No. 16 Kyle Edmund and 2018 US Open runner-up and world No. 4 del Potro.
Here’s more on the 26-year-old, who could be seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time at the 2019 Australian Open in January.
The Nikoloz Basilashvili File
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia
Current Rank: 23
Career-High Rank: 23
Best US Open Finish: Round 4 (2018)
- 2018 is turning into a banner year for Basilashvili, who became the first Georgian player to win an ATP event when he came through qualies to lift the German Open trophy against Leonardo Mayer in July.
- The 26-year-old has now defeated aTop 10 player in each of the past three seasons. He toppled world No. 10 Tomas Berdych in Vienna in 2016, world No. 8 Dominic Thiem in Bulgaria in 2017 and world No. 4 del Potro in China last week.
- Basilashvili, who pushed Rafael Nadal to four sets in Flushing Meadows this summer, has represented Georgia in eight Davis Cup ties over the past four years. He has a 9-3 record in singles play and a 1-4 mark in doubles. His Davis Cup debut came in the 2015 Europe Group III round robin against Albania, in which he double bageled Rel Pelushi.
- The Georgian has reached at least the third round of all four majors. He reached the third round of Wimbledon in his debut at the All England Club in 2015, and he snapped a run of four consecutive first-round main-draw losses with a run to the Round of 32 in Paris in 2017. This year, he made the third round of the Australian Open before posting his best-ever Slam result with a fourth-round performance in New York.
- If there were any doubts about Basilashvili’s credentials coming into the season, there are surely none left after a fine 2018 campaign that saw him climb from No. 59 at the start of the year. After reaching the Kitzbuhel final in 2016 and the Memphis final last year, the Georgian has finally broken through with victories on championship Sunday. Now, the next goal will be to stay inside the Top 30—he has third-round points to defend at Melbourne Park in January—and push for a Top 16 seed by the end of next summer.
They Said It!
“I've been having a really good season this year, especially [in the] past three or four months. I'm playing very good ... I'm feeling really well on the court lately. A lot of respect to my coach Jan, he's helping me a lot. With him, we can see a big difference.” – Basilashvili to ATPWorldTour.com after his win over former US Open champion del Potro.