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Melzer Wins Fifth Title In Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem, U.S.A.

Melzer© Getty ImagesJurgen Melzer won his first outdoor hard-court title.

Jurgen Melzer captured his fifth ATP World Tour title and first on an outdoor hard court on Saturday at the Winston-Salem Open. The Austrian is the 14th player aged 30-over to win an ATP World Tour title this season.

World No. 32 Melzer was leading Gael Monfils 6-3, 2-1 in the final when the Frenchman was forced to retire with a left hip injury. Melzer received 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $76,900 in prize money. He is set to rise to around World No. 27 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

"He's such a great player, so I was trying to focus on my things that I've been doing well this week," said the 32-year-old Melzer. "I was trying to be aggressive and go to the net as much as I could. The game before he retired he was serving really slowly and I missed a lot of returns because I knew if I broke him it could be the end and you get a little tight. Nobody wants to win a final like that, you want to be out there competing, but at the end of the day you take the title."

Melzer will look to carry his good form into next week’s US Open, where he is due to face Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the first round. Should he win his first two matches, he could meet sixth seed and 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro in the third round.

Melzer improved to a 5-8 finals record after playing his second title match of the season. He finished runner-up at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors in February (l. to Cilic). His last title had come 18 months ago at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis, where he defeated Milos Raonic.

Melzer was quick to credit his new coaching relationship with Galo Blanco, whom he began working with three weeks ago, for his upturn in fortune. "He started working with me in a tough moment of my career. I hadn't played any matches after Wimbledon. I took four weeks off with a shoulder issue and I played terrible in Cincinnati - it was a shocking match against Monaco. To come back a week later and win a trophy... We put a lot of work in. He talked to me a lot. It's always a team effort. My wife is here with me and she understands the game. Those two have done a fabulous job this week to get me going in the right direction."

The 26-year-old Monfils dropped to a 4-15 finals record. It was his second runner-up showing of the season after losing the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur final to Albert Montanes in May. The Frenchman is projected to return to the Top 40 of the Emirates ATP Rankings with his performance this week. The former World No. 7 has been steadily climbing back up this season, having dropped to No. 108 in February.

"I started to feel it yesterday," explained Monfils. "I had a sharp pain. After about 50 minutes [today], I tried to serve at full speed, and that was it. I felt like something snapped a little bit and it was really painful. It was tough to continue. I will try to get an x-ray tonight and see what's going on."

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