Auckland, New Zealand (SportsNetwork.com) - Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely cruised to a victory in the final at the Heineken Open, a final tune- up for the Australian Open.
Vesely captured his first ATP title with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. He's also the first Czech 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."
Vesely battled past fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson in the semis before dispatching Mannarino, who appeared in his first career ATP final.
"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," Mannarino said. "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."
The 21-year-old Vesely earned $84,500 for the Auckland championship.