Monaco Hustles Houston to Deny Sock U.S. Title on Clay
Two former winners squared off in the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship final on Sunday, and it was Argentina’s Juan Monaco denying Jack Sock a repeat trophy with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win in Houston.
Monaco, who returned to the tour in February after wrist surgery late last year, won his first Houston title since 2012, and his first overall since 2013.
“I didn’t expect this so fast,” said Monaco, who captured a ninth career title in a match that was a whirlwind of injuries for both players. “No words to describe this moment.”
Sock won the first set easily, then lost 10 of the next 14 games after Monaco took an injury timeout for his back. Sock in the second set received treatment on his right arm, and in the third treatment on his right shoulder. Sock in the third came back to grab a 5-4 lead, but was struggling to even walk by the end of the match, double faulting to give Monaco the final break.
With the win Monaco climbs from No. 148 into the Top 100 again.
Veteran Delbonis Dekes Coric For Marrakech Title
Federico Delbonis, the 35-year-old Argentine, won only his second career ATP title on Sunday, stopping rising star Borna Coric 6-2, 6-4 for the Grand Prix Hassan II crown.
“I played at a great level today and it’s great to lift the trophy here,” Delbonis said. “I took my chances, but it was not easy. In the end, I did my job and got the victory. This is what I work for. To win at this level, you have to be mentally focused the whole match.”
Delbonis won his only other title in 2014 at Sao Paulo. Coric would have been the first teen title winner on the ATP tour since 2008.
The Argentine is projected to rise to No. 36, two spots from his career-high. Coric fell to 0-2 in finals after losing to Stan Wawrinka in the Chennai championship match earlier this year.
“I had an opportunity in the second set but unfortunately I couldn’t break him,” Coric said. “I’m happy with my start in the clay season.”
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