Stan Wawrinka almost won the Croatia Open trophy 17 years after winning his maiden ATP career trophy at the event but couldn't overcome Popyrin in his first final since 2019. The Australian wasted several chances but ultimately outlasted Wawrinka to win.
The first set saw Alexei Popyrin play some really solid tennis taking an early lead against a somewhat shaky Wawrinka. Both of them like to finish points on their own terms, but Popyrin had a better rhythm to start the match, which allowed him to take the lead.
Over time, Wawrinka expectedly started to play better and better eventually breaking Popyrin in the game that should have been the final one in the set. We saw both win another service game which ensured a tiebreak. It was a close one though Wawrinka stayed on top for most of it and ultimately won it 7-5.
It was a fumbled set by the Australian who came out quite aggressively in the second set taking an early 3-0 lead. Popyrin had a chance to go up a double break but Wawrinka saved three set points. Eventually, it didn't matter much because the Australian still got it done taking the second set 6-3.
Things started really well for Popyrin in the final set as well as he took an early break 1-0 but got broken in the next game, which proved crucial. The Swiss veteran nearly avoided losing this match, but that immediate rebreak was extremely crucial to stay in the match.
The Swiss veteran almost broke Popyrin again, but the Australian hung on which proved decisive as he broke Wawrinka in the perfect moment at 4-4 to take the lead. He then closed it out in the next game for the final score of 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 to win the 2023 Croatia Open in Umag.