'Tired' Isner outlasted by Monaco
Juan Monaco upset home favourite John Isner to win the final of the US Men's Clay Court Championship on Sunday.
For once the American was not invincible on serve, being broken three times as Monaco battled to a 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory in two-and-a-half hours.
Monaco refused to let Isner settle into a rhythm on serve, preferring to go on the attack with some fearsome returning. It paid dividends as he ended the big-serving American's run of 45 successive service holds at the ATP World Tour 250 event - the perfect platform to go on and take the first set. Neither player looked comfortable on serve in the second, with Isner only profiting as a consequence of his opponent's profligacy on break points.
Isner hammered down eight aces in the contest but, more often than not, the clay did not allow him many free points and this quickly played into Monaco's hands. Isner had a couple of chances in the decider but could not convert, and Monaco's all-round game on the clay proved too strong as he demonstrated the patience needed to win on the red dirt.
Victory gave Monaco a fifth ATP Tour title, though it was the fourth-seeded wild card's first on US soil.
A dejected Isner said: "I came out of the gates slow. I wasn't quite there. 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. All in all, it was a good effort and was the best match I played all week. That's encouraging. I was a little tired, but I didn't feel it at the end."
Meanwhile, Spaniard Pablo Andujar defended his Grand Prix Hassan II title after beating compatriot Albert Ramos 6-1 7-6(5). Andular broke three times en route to the first set, but had to dig deep to close out the match in the second and clinch the second title of his career.
Re: 'Tired' Isner outlasted by Monaco