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  • Granollers edges Monaco at the Valencia finish line

    11/6/11 8:15 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Granollers edges Monaco at the Valencia finish line A surprising final between Marcel Granollers and Juan Monaco goes the distance on Sunday in Valencia. Granollers takes the title in a third-set tiebreaker.

    Marcel Granollers outlasted Juan Monaco 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3) in an all-unseeded final at the Valencia Open 500 on Sunday afternoon. Granollers, who finished runner-up at this event last year, capped off another dream run after exactly three hours.

    Coming off four consecutive upset wins and playing in front of a home crowd, Granollers got off to a strong start. The Spaniard earned two breaks in the first set and saved the only break point he faced to make them stand up. His second break at 5-2 finished off the opening frame of play in convincing fashion.

    Monaco rebounded with an immediate break in the second, as Granollers started to tighten up one set away from title. However, the Argentine gave the break back at 2-1 and eventually saw a 2-0 lead become a 3-2 deficit. Monaco got back on track with another break and 3-3 when his opponent netted a backhand on the third break point of the game. This time Monaco managed to serve it out the rest of the way.

    A tense third set saw the world No. 41 maintain his momentum with an immediate break. Having the title almost in his grasp, though, proved to be too much for Monaco at 4-3. Granollers got the break back and soon earned three championship points on return at 5-4. Monaco held his nerve to save all three and eventually a tiebreaker had to decide it.

    Granollers seized an immediate mini-break for 2-0 and led the entire way. On Monaco's serve at 3-6, the world No. 34 scrambled to retrieve an approach shot and set it back for a winning cross-court forehand. The point left both men sprawled on the court; one in victory, one in agony.

    Granollers, who had previously taken out Alexandr Dolgopolov, Marin Cilic, Gael Monfils, and Juan Martin Del Potro, earned his third career ATP title. Monaco is now 3-8 lifetime in finals and this was his first on anything other than outdoor clay.

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