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Mahut Beats Wawrinka For First Title

's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Mahut© Edwin Verhoef/Topshelf OpenNicolas Mahut won his first ATP World Tour title.

World No. 240 Nicolas Mahut became the lowest-ranked winner on the ATP World Tour in five years on Saturday as he upset second seed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Topshelf Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The 31-year-old Frenchman won his first ATP World Tour title after two runner-up efforts in 2007, both on grass, at the Aegon Championships (l. to Roddick) in London and the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport (l. to Santoro).

"It's amazing. I cannot believe I won today," said Mahut, who was sidelined for six months with a knee injury. "I didn't know if I was going to play again when I had some bad times with my knee. All my team helped me a lot. We worked hard and here I am with the trophy. It's a good story."

Mahut is the second qualifier this year to win an ATP World Tour title, joining Ernests Gulbis, who won the Delray Beach trophy in March (d. Roger-Vasselin). He is the lowest-ranked player to triumph since World No. 244 Kei Nishikori at Delray Beach in March 2008.

Mahut earned 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points with the win and is projected to rise to World No. 127 on Monday. The Frenchman has been granted a wild card into The Championships at Wimbledon and will begin his campaign against Czech Jan Hajek on Monday.

In a rain-delayed final, Mahut won his first tour-level FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Wawrinka in 83 minutes, saving the three break points he faced. Mahut lost serve only once in 47 games this week and won the title without the loss of a set. 

The final was suspended after just two games, and play was interrupted again at 3-3. At the resumption, Mahut reeled off three straight games to clinch the opener and an early break in the second set sufficed. It was his fifth career win over a Top 10 player (5-27 mark).

"Emotionally, the last game was difficult, but I really served great," said Mahut. "We played five points and I made four first serves, which helped a lot. Today was really tough to play in the conditions. It was rainy and cold, windy. I won my serve at 3-3 [in the first set], then I broke him. That for me, was the key to the match."

World No. 10 Wawrinka was contesting his first ATP World Tour grass-court final and dropped to a 4-9 finals record. He was appearing in his fourth final of the season, having lifted the trophy at the Portugal Open in Oeiras (d. Ferrer) and finished runner-up at the Copa Claro in Buenos Aires (l. to Ferrer) and the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Nadal). 

The 28-year-old Wawrinka, who has a 34-11 record on the season, goes to Wimbledon ready for a first-round meeting with former World No. 1 and 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt.

"First of all I want to congratulate Nico and his team. He has always been playing well on grass and he deserves this title," said Wawrinka.

"This year I go to Wimbledon with more practice and matches under my belt. As always I’m happy and looking forward to going to Wimbledon. Winning matches here gives me a lot of confidence going into Wimbledon. I had a great week here and I’m looking forward to playing Lleyton on Monday. It will be a big match for both of us." 

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