Daniil Medvedev finished off David Goffin in style on Sunday with three straight aces to record a 7-6 (3), 6-4 win in the title match of the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati.
The ninth-seeded Medvedev had 10 aces overall and won 90 percent of his first-serve points during a standout performance on the hardcourt in Mason, Ohio.
The win catapults Medvedev to No. 5 in the world rankings. It was the Russian's third straight final -- he lost to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafael Nadal in Montreal earlier this month.
"Three weeks in a row in the finals," Medvedev said during a post-match television interview. "It would not be a good feeling if I lost three finals in a row. I'm just relieved and I'm so happy."
Medvedev furiously smashed his racquet during the final game against the 16th-seeded Goffin. He said it was because he was cramping up and feared he wouldn't be able to finish off the Belgian in straight sets.
"I started feel cramps at 5-3. First time in three weeks I started cramping -- probably the nerves and rallies," Medvedev said. "Yesterday, my coach told me it has been 24 days in a row where I played tennis.
"I started cramping quite hard. Last game, it is 15-40 and I am cramping and it is going to be 5-all and I'm in a bad position. I made four serves he couldn't return and three of them were aces, just unbelievable."
The three aces gave Medvedev his fifth career victory and came one day after he outplayed top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic in an impressive three-set comeback in the semifinals.
Medvedev finished with 21 winners and 14 unforced errors.
Goffin was plagued by 28 unforced errors -- including seven double faults -- while having 20 winners. He won 66.7 percent of his first-serve points.
"He's super solid. He doesn't miss. It's like playing against a wall," Goffin said afterward. "Just playing cross, cross, wait for the ball. His pace is not too fast, not too slow. It's quite a special pace to play against him. And then you receive bombs coming from his serve, and then he doesn't miss.
"That's why everybody is struggling, because he's so consistent, now with more confidence."
Dutchman Robin Haase got off to a strong start with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over American Denis Kudla in first-round action in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Haase broke Kudla in the opening game of the match and again early in the second. Kudla interrupted the smooth sailing by fighting off three match points to break and even the second set at 5-5, but he ultimately fell in the tiebreaker.
Other winners on Sunday included Romania's Marius Copil, Czech wild card Tomas Berdych, India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran and South Africa's Lloyd Harris.
--Field Level Media