Granollers Claims bet-at-home Cup Title…

Marcel Granollers’ title drought is officially over…

The 27-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Argentina’s Juan Monaco 0-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the bet-at-home Cup final in Austria to claim his first title since beating Monaco two years ago in Valencia, Spain.

Marcel Granollers

Granollers had to overcome a slow start Saturday to win his fourth ATP title.

“It’s a very special feeling to win here,” said the 53rd-ranked Granollers, who had failed to go beyond the quarterfinals of an event this season.

Granollers ended Robin Haase‘s two-year winning run in Kitzbuehel in the semifinals.

Monaco was seeking his ninth career title and second of the year, after winning in May in Duesseldorf, Germany.

The 31st-ranked Monaco, who won here in 2007, dictated the pace in the opening set with strong forehands from the baseline, sending Granollers from one corner to the other.

Monaco broke Granollers’ first service game with a winner off the net cord and added two more breaks to take the opening set in 23 minutes.

“I didn’t play well at all in the beginning. He was very solid from the start,” said Granollers, who won only nine points in the set. “When you’re close to winning a title, you get nervous.”

Granollers saved two more break points early in the second set, helping him settle down. He broke at the first opportunity to lead 5-3.

“He had chances in the second set as well, and I was lucky he couldn’t take them,” Granollers said. “From then on it became a different match.”

Granollers had a 4-0 lead in the deciding set. He missed three match points at 5-2, but converted at the fourth chance on Monaco’s serve when the Argentine sent a backhand volley long.

“Marcel deserved to win,” Monaco said. “In the end, he just played better than me.”

He’s the first Spanish winner since Alex Corretja in 2002 and improved to 4-2 in career finals.

Granollers Beats Robin Haase to Reach the bet-at-home Cup Finals

Marcel Granollers has taken down the champion at the bet-at-home Cup

The 27-year-old Spanish tennis player ended defending champion Robin Haase‘s two-year unbeaten streak at the bet-at-home Cup in a hard-fought semifinal on Friday, setting up a final against second-seeded Juan Monaco.

Marcel Granollers

Granollers, the tournament’s eighth seed, beat Haase 7-6 (0), 3-6, 6-4. The Dutchman was 12-0 at the event going into the match, having won the title in 2011 and 2012. In the other semifinal, Monaco defeated seventh-seeded Albert Montanes of Spain 7-6 (2), 7-5.

Granollers took the first set against Haase with flawless attacking play in the tiebreaker after both players held serve throughout.

Early in the second, Haase managed the first break against Granollers but dropped his own serve the next game. Haase added another break for 4-3 and the Dutchman won five straight games to take the set and lead 2-0 in the third.

Haase missed two break points for 3-0, lost five of the next seven games before serving a double-fault on match point.

Granollers has gone beyond the quarterfinals of an ATP event for the first time this season. The 53rd-ranked Spaniard is looking for his fourth career title and first since beating Monaco in the final at Valencia two years ago.

Granollers is 2-1 against Monaco, although the Argentine won their only previous clay-court match in straight sets in 2008.

Mónaco Reaches Semis at Austria’s bet-at-home Cup

Juan Mónaco is one step closer to winning his ninth career ATP singles title…

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis star defeated Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals of the bet-at-home Cup in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

Juan Monaco

Mónaco, the tournament’s second-seed, secured the victory on the strength of his impressive baseline game, winning a whopping 80-percent of his second-serve points throughout the one-hour, 54-minute contest.

Gimeno-Traver, by contrast, went for bigger serves than the Argentine and won a higher percentage of first-serve points (69 percent to 62 percent) but struggled when he needed to put his second serve in play, winning only 45 percent of those points.

Next up for Mónaco in Friday’s semifinals will be Spain’s Albert Montañes, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Austrian wildcard Dominic Thiem.

Mónaco, who won this event in 2007, is seeking his ninth career ATP singles title.

This Austrian stop on the ATP Tour dates back to 1894, making it one of the oldest events in men’s tennis.