(Reuters) – Brazilian teenager Thiago Seyboth Wild became the youngest player to win on Latin America’s ‘Golden Swing’ since Rafael Nadal in 2005 when he outlasted Norwegian second seed Casper Ruud 7-5 4-6 6-3 at the Chile Open on Sunday.
The 19-year-old wildcard collapsed to the ground in delight after Ruud sent a backhand wide on match point.
Seyboth Wild fired down 17 aces en route to his maiden tour-level title.
Ruud was full of praise for Seyboth Wild, who is two years younger than the Norwegian.
“He played amazing tennis all week. I can’t be too upset about my loss,” Ruud said. “He proved that he deserved his wildcard and took very good care of his opportunity. Even though I’m not that experienced myself, I can see that he’ll be around for many more years.”
The road to the title was not an easy one for Seyboth Wild as he had to overcome fifth-seeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round before advancing past top seeded Cristian Garin when the Chilean retired due to a left leg injury.
The 182nd-ranked Seyboth Wild, who had started the week with just two tour-level wins to his name, became the youngest Brazilian to win an ATP title.
He is expected to shoot up to a career-high 113th in the world when the new rankings are released on Monday.
Nadal, then 18, prevailed at Acapulco in 2005.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar)