Bellucci Edges Monaco To Take Santiago Title
Santiago, Chile by ATP Staff | 08.02.2010
After a see-sawing final on Sunday, No. 3 seed Thomaz Bellucci collected his second ATP World Tour singles title at the Movistar Open, defeating No. 2 seed Juan Monaco of Argentina, 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.
Bellucci becomes the first Brazilian to win the Movistar Open title since his idol Gustavo Kuerten took the crown in 2000. Coincidentally, that was the last year Santiago staged this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament, having been held in the Chilean seaside city of Viña del Mar between 2001 and 2009.
"It's a coincidence that Guga (Kuerten) won the title the last time the tournament was played in Santiago," Bellucci said. "Guga was No. 1 in the world and I'm only starting to play in the bigger events now.
"It was a great week. I won some tough matches and I'm happy to win my second ATP [World Tour] title."
The 22-year-old left-hander burst out of the blocks in the first set, breaking Monaco's serve twice to lead 4-0. Although Monaco recovered one of the breaks to get back to 4-2 Bellucci regained the advantage, taking the next two games to snare the first set after 42 minutes.
But there was another wild swing in momentum as Monaco took Bellucci's lead from the first set. He broke the No. 3 seed's serve three times and improved the success rate on his first serve from 47 per cent to 72 per cent, blazing through the second set, 6-0.
Having lost seven straight games Bellucci held for 1-1 in the deciding set and at 2-2 got Monaco down 0-40 on his serve, eventually breaking for a 3-2 lead three points later.
Holding onto the advantage for the remainder of the set, Bellucci took his second ATP World Tour singles title after two hours, four minutes. It was his fourth three-set match of the week, including a dramatic win over home favourite and defending champion Fernando Gonzalez in the semi-finals.
"I played better than him in the first set," Bellucci said. "In the second set I didn't start very well and he took advantage and started playing better. In the third set I was able to play my game again and stay calm in the decisive moments to win the title."
Bellucci now improves to 2-1 lifetime in ATP singles finals, having won in Gstaad in August last year and earlier in the season finished runner-up on home soil at Costa do Sauipe.
Appearing in his 10th career ATP singles final Monaco falls to 3-7, replicating his runner-up finish at the 2008 Movistar Open when he had to withdraw before his match against Gonzalez due to a left ankle injury.
"I'm upset about the loss but I want to congratulate Thomaz; he had an excellent week and deserved to win the title," Monaco said.
As champion No. 35-ranked Bellucci takes home $64,450 and 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points, while runner-up Monaco, currently ranked No. 29, earns $35,980 and 150 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points.