VALENCIA OPEN 500 2011
Granollers Outlasts Monaco For Valencia Title
by ATP Staff|
Marcel Granollers captured his second title of the year on Sunday at the Valencia Open 500, outlasting Juan Monaco 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3) in a clash that spanned just over three hours. "Winning here has been the biggest achievement in my whole career," declared Granollers. "It was a difficult moment for me, being a break down in the third. I kept fighting and at the end, I played very good.
"Juan is a great player who fights for every point. There were very long games. The match was settled in the very last moment."
The Spaniard defeated four Top 20 players, Alexandr Dolgopolov (No. 16), Marin Cilic (No. 20), Gael Monfils (No. 10) and Juan Martin del Potro (No. 14) to reach the final. He improved to a 2-1 mark against Monaco, topping the Argentine in Valencia for the second straight year, having won their quarter-final encounter in 2010 en route to a runner-up finish to countryman David Ferrer. “To win a title in Spain is very nice and special, as my family was with me today. The crowd helped me a lot during the week so thanks to them,” Granollers said.
After splitting the first two sets, Monaco broke serve to start the third set and maintained his advantage until the eighth game of the set. The two held serve in the final four games to send the title match to a deciding tie-break. From there, Granollers pushed ahead with a mini-break lead at 2-1 and never looked back to claim his third career title. "It was a very tough final that was determined through a couple of balls after three hours of play,” assessed Monaco.
“But it has been a great week. I am satisfied with the work I have been doing… I think we both played a good match. The third set was pretty aggressive.”
The victory gives Granollers his first hard-court trophy, with his two previous triumphs coming on clay in Gstaad earlier this year (d. Verdasco) and Houston in 2008.
Monaco was aiming to end a title drought dating back to 2007, when he won all three of his career titles. The 27 year old was appearing in his first final since a runner-up showing to Thomaz Bellucci in Santiago last year. "The atmosphere was exceptional. I can only express words of thanks because the audience made me feel very comfortable,” said Monaco. “I thought they would support him for being Spanish, but they would cheer me on too.”