Monaco Wins First Career ATP Title at Home in Buenos AiresPosted on February 25, 2007
"I'm extremely happy to have won my first ATP title here in Buenos Aires. This is a dream that came true. So many of the best Argentine tennis players of all time have played in the Buenos Aires Lawn Club," said Monaco. "I have to thank my team and coach [Francisco Mastelli], who have worked with me very hard to get where I'm today. The crowd was also unbelievable. To win an ATP title in front of this crowd and all my friends -- it's incredible."
It was the first ATP meeting between the two. Monaco dominated the 63-minute match from start to finish. He broke di Mauro in four of his seven service games and won more than half the points on di Mauro's serve. Monaco won 62 points overall, compared to only 37 for the Italian.
Monaco represents the third Argentine in the last four years to capture the Buenos Aires title. Two years ago Gaston Gaudio took the crown, and Guillermo Coria emerged victorious the year before that.
Monaco, 22, was playing in his second ATP final. He finished as runner-up at Casablanca in 2005 (l. to Puerta). He lifted his 2007 record to 9-3 with Sunday's win. His best prior results this year were quarterfinal finishes at Costa do Sauipe last week (l. to Chela) and Auckland last month (l. to Calleri).
Monaco has a career mark of 8-3 in his hometown. His previous best showing was a quarterfinal loss in his 2004 debut (to Coria).
Di Mauro, 29, was playing in the first ATP final of his career. He made it that far despite losing a match in round robin competition to Carlos Berlocq. Di Mauro broke into the win column this week, boosting his 2007 ATP record to 4-6.
"I was a little nervous in the beginning of the match," said Di Mauro. "I didn't play my best tennis today, and he was playing very well. I don't think that even if I had played my best tennis, I would have beaten him today."
Until this week his best ATP result was a quarterfinal finish last February at Acapulco (l. to Chela). He made his Buenos Aires debut this week.
"I don't feel fantastic now because I lost the final, but still it was the best week of my career," added Di Mauro. "I don't make plans regarding my ranking. I like to play match-by-match, tournament-by-tournament, without putting too much pressure on myself."