Argentine Juan Monaco won his first tournament on U.S. soil this afternoon, edging No. 2 seed John Isner 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the final of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. The fourth-seeded Monaco, ranked No. 16 in the world, improved to 1-2 against Isner, while winning his second title of the year and fifth of his career. Monaco won at Vina del Mar in February. The 28-year-old Argentine broke Isner’s serve twice in the first set, ending the No. 10-ranked American’s run of 45 straight service holds during the week in Houston. He broke Isner a third time in the eighth game of the final set. “I think we played a great final,” Monaco said. “The first set, I played really well, and then he came back in the second set. In the final set, it was a battle. We fought until the last point. I served pretty well in the last game, so I’m happy for that.” With the win, Monaco will move up to No. 14 in tomorrow’s updated ATP Rankings, matching a career high. Monaco was broken just once in the match and saved eight of nine break points. As would be expected, Isner won the battle of aces, 8 to zero, but had five double faults to four for Monaco. The Argentine was the more effective server, though, winning 68 percent of the points overall on his first and second serves. Isner won 59 percent of his service points. “I came out of the gates slow. I wasn’t quite there,” Isner said. “It took a while to get warmed up and engaged in the match. I got better as the match went on. After the first set, the quality from both of us picked up a lot. I had some things go right in the second set. I saved a number of break points. But I had some things go against me in the third set. He was pressuring me pretty well all day.” By reaching the final, Isner will jump one spot to No. 9 and supplant Mardy Fish as the top-ranked American player.
Monaco Bests Isner to Win U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships
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