* Latvian earns third ATP title
* Too strong for French journeyman Roger-Vasselin (Adds details, quotes) March 3 (Reuters) - Ernests Gulbis celebrated his second Delray Beach International title after edging French journeyman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 6-3 on Sunday.
Latvian Gulbis, the 2010 champion, found himself in his first final since 2011 after the top seeds all crashed out and after weathering a stiff challenge in the first set, was too strong for the 105th-ranked Frenchman.
“I‘m really happy. I worked hard,” the 24-year-old told reporters. “I‘m exhausted now. (This is) my favorite tournament. It’s the only tournament in the world I am winning.”
The 67th-ranked Gulbis was understating his record, but only slightly, having sandwiched his Delray Beach wins with the Los Angeles trophy in 2011 for a career total of three ATP titles.
The 29-year-old Roger-Vasselin was playing in his first final, however, and the gap in experience showed as Gulbis saved a set point before forcing a tiebreak which he won comfortably 7-3.
Gulbis rode the momentum through the second set to quickly wrap up the match, but Roger-Vasselin was not too disconsolate with the loss, having previously held a 0-5 record in quarter-finals.
“When you lose in a final, it’s tough, but it was a great week for me,” he said. “It will give me confidence for the next tournament.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Ian Ransom