Despite an impressive start of today’s final second seed Argentine Juan Monaco (Profile) failed to reclaim the Kitzbuhel title he won in 2007 – his eighth-seeded rival Marcel Granollers (Profile) recovered from the first set bagel to ultimately lift his fourth ATP World Tour trophy, the first one after 2011 when he was victorious in Gstaad and Valencia.
There was a gulf of class between the players in the opening set as the Spaniard collected only nine points and dropped all of his service games. Monaco efficiently converted all three break points he had created and closed out the opener in twenty-four minutes. Granollers finally got on the board in the beginning of the set two, but found himself in trouble again in the fourth game where he had to defend a couple of break points before making it 2-2. Things then started to look up for him as he converted his first break point of the match in the seventh game, yet he missed an opportunity to serve out the set at 5-4 and could only level the terms after confident performance in the tie-break. The 27-year-old then created a double break lead to escape to 4-0 in the decider, yet he was chased down by Monaco by 5-4, squandering a triple championship point in the process. However, he pounced on the Argentine’s serve once again and got lucky with the match point number four – he wrapped up the 0-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 clay court victory after two hours and thirteen minutes of play.
Granollers earned 250 ranking points and will return to the Top 40 of the ATP Rankings. He is only the second player to conquer an ATP tournament after receiving a bagel in the opening set – Nikolay Daydenko defeated Rafa Nadal 0-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 in the Doha 2010 final.
“I definitely didn’t start well, but he played unbelievable, very solid with almost no mistakes,” Granollers commented on the outcome of the final. “But until you lose the last point, you are still standing and I kept on going. I got probably more nervous than usual when I had to close the match at 5-3 in the third, but it’s normal to get that way in a final. I played very well after that and I did it. I came into this week playing well so I knew I could do something here.”
“I am disappointed to not have been able to come through today,” said Monaco. “The score never lies and I need to congratulate Marcel because he was a better player than me.”