Sunday, September 30, 2012
Juan Monaco battle past Julien Benneteau 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to win the Malaysian Open title.
Monaco needed just over three hours to edge out Benneteau to claim his 4th title of the season.
The Argentine received $153,440 in prize money and earned 250 Rankings points.
Benneteau took a 2-0 lead in the first set but Pico got back on level terms at 2-2 and broke again for a 5-3.
The Frenchman saved four more set points to frustrate Monaco, who ultimately clinched the set after 81 minutes of play.
In the second set, Benneteau broke early but was broken back. He got a second service break to send the encounter into the decider.
In the third set, Pico broke for a 4-2 lead and held to go up 5-2. The Frenchguy managed to save match point to extend the match one more game but Monaco was able to end the encounter in the next game to claim the title.
"I celebrated with my team in the locker room and tonight I'll have Malaysian food with my team," said Monaco. "It has been nice to be in this city and win the trophy. It feels very good. When I win a title, I think of my family and my team, as they believe in me, they have supported me and we have worked hard to win tournaments.
"I think we played a great match, with a lot of ups and downs. I got a little nervous when I had chances, but I never gave up, particularly in the 12th game of the first set. He surprised me a little bit with his comeback in the second set. In the final set, I knew I had to be more aggressive and I am happy the way I finished the match."
"I'd like to relax now and enjoy the victory," said Monaco. "It isn't easy to win tournaments, but I will focus on the next challenge and go to Tokyo tomorrow."
"I was very focused on this game, because I wanted to win this final," said Benneteau. "The fans were great; there was a lot of French in the crowd. It was a nice atmosphere and the game was a good level."
Photo by AP