ASB Classic champion Tennys Sandgren was left almost speechless after his straight sets victory over former Kiwi Cameron Norrie in today's singles final.

The American was understandably overwhelmed after the 6-4 6-2 victory, claiming his first ATP Tour win of his career.

"I'm a little bit lost for words honestly," he said after the match, while donning a black Johnny Cash 'American Rebel' t-shirt.

"A lot of work, a lot of training, a lot of sacrifice goes in to even making a final. To get a win, I'm kinda speechless."


While his silence may have defined his win in Auckland, it was his outspoken nature that got him into trouble last year – a reputation that threatens to follow him around for the rest of his career.

After beating No 5 seed Dominic Thiem in last year's Australian Open to move into the last eight – still his best performance at a grand slam to date – Sandgren was grilled because of unearthed tweets on his seeming support of the alt-right movement in the United States. (He would later deny that he supported the alt-right movement, but said he found some of it interesting.)

It led to a media storm, bringing up the 27-year-old American's chequered history on social media, including his support of American president Donald Trump, homophobic tweets, and an apparent interest in nationalist and alt-right politics.

Sandgren eventually deleted 18 months worth of tweets after his outspoken political comments were put under the microscope following his unlikely charge at the Open.

Tennys Sandgren celebrates at the ASB Classic. Photo / Photosport
Tennys Sandgren celebrates at the ASB Classic. Photo / Photosport

Among the deleted tweets was one from November 2016 where Sandgren appeared to support the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy linking then-Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton to a supposed child sex abuse ring at a Washington pizzeria.

He also retweeted a video from white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes and wrote on Twitter that a visit to a gay club "left his eyes bleeding".

Following his defeat to Hyeon Chung in the quarter-finals, Sandgren accused the media of "demonising" him in a pre-prepared monologue, refusing to answer further questions about his past tweets and political beliefs.

That would only end up fueling the outrage machine, as fans and former players took to social media to criticise Sandgren.


Among them, was tennis great Serena Williams who slammed her compatriot for his support of Donald Trump, also saying "there is an entire group of people that deserve an apology".

She also tweeted "turns channel" while Sandgren was on the court against Chung.

Sandgren did eventually apologise, in particular, for the homophobic gay club tweet.

"In regards to the gay club tweet from 2012, I used poor and harsh words to describe a bad experience, and is not indicative of how I feel about the people in that community. To everyone I offended with that, pls accept my apology," he wrote on Twitter.

He also added that he would head home to Tennessee to reflect on everything that has happened at the tournament.

With a more toned down couple of weeks here in Auckland, perhaps Sandgren has learned from his Aussie Open experience – and now he has an ATP title to show for it.