ATP World Tour No. 53 Albert Montanes won his second ATP World Tour title of the season after edging third seed Juan Monaco 7-6(2), 7-6(6) Sunday in the final of the BCR Open Romania, an ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament in Bucharest.
Montanes is the third Spanish player this season, together with Rafael Nadal (five titles) and Tommy Robredo (two titles), to win at least two ATP World Tour titles. He received 250 South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking points and €71,700, while runner-up Monaco earned 150 Ranking points and €37,700 in prize money.
The 28-year-old Montanes also triumphed on clay at the Estoril Open in May, defeating World No. 8 Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals before saving two match points to beat No. 16 James Blake in the title match.
Barcelona-resident Montanes is the first Spaniard to win the BCR Open Romania title since David Sanchez lifted the trophy in 2003. Montanes himself had nearly claimed the title two years earlier, when he finished runner-up to Younes El Aynaoui on his tournament debut.
In their second ATP World Tour meeting, neither player was able to establish a break though in the first set. In the deciding tie-break it was Montanes who took the initiative, racing into a 5-1 lead before closing out the one-set lead 7-2.
World No. 37 Monaco hit back immediately, breaking to love early in the second set to open up a 3-0 lead. The Argentine had multiple set point opportunities in the eighth and 12th games to level the match, but could not convert as Montanes fought back to force a second tie-break.
In a closer tie-break, mini-breaks were exchanged early before Monaco created set point on his own serve at 6-5. Montanes was quick to level though and won the final two points of the match to prevail after two hours and 10 minutes. He had also defeated Monaco in straight sets on clay at the Movistar Open in 2006.
“I’m very happy with how the whole week has gone and I’m very happy as well to win the title here," said Montanes. "I was a bit lucky when I saved all those set points with 15-40 twice on my serve. That was a very important moment, I’m happy and lucky that I saved them."
Montanes improved to a 3-4 mark in ATP World Tour finals, with all of his final appearances coming on clay. The right-hander won his maiden ATP World Tour title at Amersfoort in 2008, defeating Steve Darcis in the final. He had finished runner-up in his first four ATP World Tour finals.
Monaco, who leads the ATP World Tour with 29 match wins on clay this season, was bidding to win his first title of the year. Earlier in the season he finished runner-up on clay at the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires (l. to Robredo) and the Catella Swedish Open in Bastad (l. to Soderling).
“I’m a little bit disappointed but sport is like this. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose," lamented Monaco. "I have to keep working very hard to get better moments. That moment in the match when I almost won the second set, I need more focus and more rhythm on those points. I think I need to be more focused if I want to improve my tennis and win tournaments like this."
Since winning his first three ATP World Tour titles in 2007, the 25-year-old Monaco has lost five straight finals; he also finished runner-up at the Interwetten Austrian Open when it was held in Poertschach (l. to Davydenko) and the Movistar Open in Vina del Mar (W/O vs. Gonzalez) both last season. The Tandil native dropped to a 3-6 mark in ATP World Tour finals.
Come On Albert
....................congrats for the third Title in your carrer