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Granollers Fights For Kitzbuhel Win

Kitzbuhel, Austria

Granollers© GEPA/Hans OsterauerMarcel Granollers won his fourth ATP World Tour title after a disastrous start.

Marcel Granollers overcame a disastrous start to win his fourth ATP World Tour title on Saturday at the bet-at-home Cup Kitzbühel. The Spaniard rallied to defeat second seed Juan Monaco 0-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes.

It is the first time a player has recovered from a 0-6 first set to win an ATP World Tour title since Nikolay Davydenko defeated Rafael Nadal 0-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 in the 2010 final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

"Today I was half on my way to the airport, but I kept on fighting and started to play better in the middle of the second set," said Granollers.

World No. 53 Granollers captured his first ATP World Tour title since 2011, when he lifted the trophies at the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad and the Valencia Open 500. He improved to a 4-2 finals record.

Read: Granollers Form & Fitness – Double The Fun

Granollers is set to return to the Top 40 of the Emirates ATP Rankings after earning 250 ranking points and €74,000 in prize money. He reached as high as World No. 19 in July last year. 

The Barcelona native is the sixth different Spaniard to win an ATP World Tour title this year, joining Rafael Nadal (7), David Ferrer (2), Tommy Robredo (2), Feliciano Lopez (1) and Albert Montanes (1).

Watch Granollers Uncovered

Granollers improved to a 3-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Monaco, having also beaten the Argentine in the 2011 Valencia final. Monaco looked set to avenge that loss as he raced to the first set in just 24 minutes, losing only three points on serve and nine in total.

Granollers got himself on the board in the second game of the second set and swung the momentum in his favour as he broke for a 4-3 lead. The Spaniard was unable to close out the set when serving for it at 5-4, but won the ensuing tie-break to level the match. 

He surged ahead 4-0 in the deciding set, but had to withstand a late fightback from Monaco. The Tandil native rallied from a 0/40 deficit in the eighth game and broke Granollers back as he served for the match to get back to 5-4. Granollers regrouped to break Monaco in the next game, though, to claim victory.

"I definitely didn’t start well, but he played unbelievable, very solid with almost no mistakes," said Granollers. 

"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."

Monaco was chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season after victory at the Power Horse Cup in Dusseldorf (d. Nieminen); he dropped to an 8-10 finals record. The 29 year old was looking to reclaim the Kitzbuhel title he had won in 2007, with victory over Potito Starace.

“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. 

"Of course I know that overall, this was a great week for me. If I can be in the final every week, I will sign immediately. When I think where I was at the beginning of the season this is great. 

"I probably played my best tennis of the year in the first set, which I need to be happy about, but Marcel started to play better and things turned around unfortunately for me. I really enjoyed being back in Kitzbuhel after 2007 when I won.”

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