March 3 (Reuters) - Ernests Gulbis beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 6-3 in a battle of unlikely finalists to clinch the Delray Beach International title on Sunday.
Gulbis, the 2010 Delray champion, dumped second seed Tommy Haas out of the semi-finals, while Roger-Vasselin earned a place in his first ATP singles final with a stunning win over big serving American John Isner, the tournament’s top seed.
Gulbis had been ranked 109 in the world when he beat Haas but jumped to 67th after the win, while his French opponent went from 105th to No. 78. Haas is ranked 19th and Isner 15th.
Latvian Gulbis leaned on his experience facing a set point at 5-4 down in the first but wriggled out of trouble to force a tiebreaker, which he won 7-3.
With momentum now on his side, Gulbis cruised in the second set and completed the victory in 1 hour and 36 minutes.
Sunday’s match was the first time two players ranked outside the top 100 had faced off in a final since 2007.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford