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Garcia-Lopez Captures Casablanca Crown

Casablanca, Morocco

Garcia-Lopez© El KhaouaGuillermo Garcia-Lopez won his third ATP World Tour title in Casablanca.

The Spanish reign in Casablanca continued on Sunday, as Guillermo Garcia-Lopez stormed back to defeat countryman Marcel Granollers 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 for the Grand Prix Hassan II title.

Garcia-Lopez extended his country’s recent dominance at the lone ATP World Tour stop on the African continent, joining Tommy Robredo (2013), Pablo Andujar (2011-12) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2009) as the fourth different Spaniard to emerge victorious in the past six years.

"I'm very happy to win this title," said Garcia-Lopez. "I know Marcel for a long time. We practise together in tournaments. The match was really close."

The first of two all-Spanish finals of the day was a see-saw affair, with Granollers claiming the opening set in 65 minutes, before sending a backhand long to give Garcia-Lopez the second following multiple breaks of serve. Today’s Houston final also features a pair of Spaniards with Fernando Verdasco and Nicolas Almagro doing battle.

With Casablanca native and 1997 champion Hicham Arazi looking on, Granollers would open the third set with an immediate break, but it was his 30 year old counterpart who reeled off six of seven games to capture the title in two hours and 38 minutes.

The No. 8 seed is the eighth Spaniard to hoist the Casablanca trophy, triumphing for his third title in six finals and first since topping Jarkko Nieminen on the hard courts of Bangkok in 2010. This was the second all-countryman final of the year after Gael Monfils defeated Richard Gasquet on home soil in Montpellier.

Garcia-Lopez becomes the fourth over-30 winner on the ATP World Tour this year, taking home $77,315 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points. The La Roda native is projected to ascend to the Top 40 for the first time since 2011. He evens the FedEx ATP Head2Head with Granollers at 1-1, having previously fallen in the second round in Casablanca in 2010.

Granollers, who was bidding for his fifth career title, claims $40,720 in prize money and 150 Emirates ATP Ranking points.

"It was a tough match for both," said Granollers. "I think we played solid and I made a few mistakes. I didn't deserve to win the title...It was a big battle today and unfortunately I didn't win the match.

"I'm happy with the week. I won three matches. I go to Monte-Carlo with confidence and I will try to play like (I did) this week."

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