Mahut Defeats Wawrinka to Win First Tour Title

by John on June 22, 2013

Mahut at Den Bosch

Frenchman Nicolas Mahut won his first ATP Tour title Saturday afternoon, defeating second-seeded and No. 10-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Topshelf Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. The 31-year-old Mahut, a grasscourt specialist, ranked No. 240 in the world, served impeccably on his favorite surface in dispatching the accomplished sidekick of fellow Swiss Roger Federer. Mahut won 46 of 47 service games in five matches and never dropped a set during the week. The rangy 6-foot-3 Angers native was runner-up in two previous finals, both also on grass, in 2007. “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.” Rain disrupted the match twice in the first set and it was Mahut who handled the interruptions better. The Frenchman broke the Swiss star after the second delay to take a 5-3 lead and served out the set with ease. Mahut broke Wawrinka for a second time in the third game of the second set and kept his cool to seal the victory on his serve in one hour and 22 minutes. “Emotionally, the last game was difficult, but I really served great,” Mahut said. “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.” Mahut served five aces and won 83 percent of the points on his first serve and 62 percent on his second. American John Isner, who defeated Mahut in the longest match in history — an 11-hour, 5-minute marathon at Wimbledon in 2010 — tweeted his congratulations to the Frenchman. “Congrats to @nmahut on his title in Holland! No one deserves it more than him. Well done!,” wrote Isner.




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