Argentine Monaco beats Monfils for second title

VIENNA Sat May 26, 2007 1:22pm EDT

Juan Monaco of Argentina reacts to a point against Gael Monfils of France during their Hypo Group International final tennis match in Poertschach May 26, 2007. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Juan Monaco of Argentina reacts to a point against Gael Monfils of France during their Hypo Group International final tennis match in Poertschach May 26, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Argentina's Juan Monaco concluded an ideal warm-up for the French Open with a 7-6 6-0 win over Gael Monfils of France in the Poertschach International final on Saturday to lift his second ATP title.

Monaco took the tiebreak 7-3 to settle a hard-fought opening set then wrapped up the match against the tiring Frenchman, who had upset seeds Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt in the previous rounds, in one hour 21 minutes.

Monaco, who eliminated defending champion Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals, won his maiden ATP crown in Buenos Aires in February while Monfils was playing in his fifth final and also looking for a second title.

"It was crucial to win the first set today. We were both pretty tired and the tiebreak was the most important moment of the match," Monaco said.

"I gave everything and tried to win every point in the tiebreak...Afterwards Gael seemed to be very tired in the second set. It's great to win my second title," he was quoted as saying on the ATP Tour Web site (www.atptour.com).

"This preparation (for the French Open) was excellent for me and I gained a lot of confidence here."

Monfils said: "The first set was a physical battle. I was a bit tired from the beginning. Juan was playing extremely well and after he won the first set he was dominating the game.

"I'm disappointed to lose this match but happy about my form going into Roland Garros."

(Writing by Rex Gowar in London)

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