Monaco Outlasts Jack Sock to Win U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship

Juan Monaco has taken down the champion…

The 32-year-old Argentine tennis player rallied to defeat defending champion Jack Sock 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory Sunday to win his second U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship nine months after major wrist surgery.

Juan Monaco

“It’s amazing, amazing to hold the trophy again in only my fourth tournament back, after three years [without a title],” said Monaco. “It’s almost like a dream come true for it to happen so fast. The hard work really paid off.”

Monaco, also the 2012 winner at River Oaks, held off a surging Sock in the third set after taking a 4-1 lead. Sock won the next four games but suffered the decisive break in the 11th game when, with his left thigh apparently cramping under the cloudy, humid conditions, he missed an underhanded serve. Early in the match, Monaco received attention from the trainer for an apparent back issue.

Sock, seeded fourth and in defense of his lone ATP World Tour title, said after the match that he’d begun experiencing flu-like symptoms Saturday night. He had won 17 consecutive sets in the event dating to his first-round match last year.

“I felt great all week. I’m not exactly sure what happened with my body,” Sock said. “Last night, I didn’t feel great. I was sweating in a very air-conditioned room, so maybe [I’m] possibly coming down with something. But that doesn’t take away from [Monaco’s] battle and fight today. It came down to the wire. I tried my best and put it all out there.”

Monaco won his ninth tour title and first since 2013. Eight have come on clay. In August of last year, he left the tour to have an operation in which a damaged tendon in his right wrist was replaced. Earlier this year, he pulled out of the Australian Open because he didn’t think he was ready to return.

Monaco said he felt a sharp pain in his back after being broken twice to start the match, and that’s why he asked for a trainer. He dominated play for a long patch thereafter, until Sock made his late charge.

“I was calm because I saw him not in good shape,” Monaco said. “But after he called the trainer, he played more relaxed with nothing to lose, with no thinking. He was good, but I made mistakes, and I was a little bit nervous because of the situation, which is normal. But then I try to just put the ball in, run and don’t think too much, just try to win the last ball.”

Monaco insisted that he didn’t think Sock was trying to use gamesmanship. “He’s a friend, a great guy,” he said.

Verdasco Earns Hard-Fought Win Against Rafael Nadal at the Miami Open

Make that two in a row for Fernando Verdasco

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated former World No. 1 and fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the third round of the Miami Open 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Fernando Verdasco

Verdasco, seeded 29th, lost the first 13 times he played Nadal but has now beaten him twice in a row. The other victory came in 2012 in Madrid.

Nadal, who was seeded second, has never won the tournament in 11 appearances. It’s the only event he hasn’t won in so many attempts.

Nadal converted only three of 12 break-point chances and committed 40 unforced errors, with just 18 winners.

Nadal dealt with several health issues in 2014 and said that while he’s fully recovered, he hasn’t regained his confidence.

“It’s a question of being relaxed enough to play well,” the 14-time Grand Slam champion said. “I’m still playing with too much nerves for a lot of moments, in important moments, still playing a little bit anxious in those moments.

“But I’m going to fix it — I don’t know if in one week, in six months, or in one year, but I’m going to do it.”

Verdasco next faces Argentina’s Juan Monaco in the fourth round.

Nadal Beats Juan Monaco to Win First Title in Nearly Nine Months

Rafael Nadal is back in title-winning form…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis star lifted his first championship trophy in nearly nine months Sunday after defeating Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-1 at the Argentina Open.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, the tournament’s top seed, Spaniard hadn’t reached a final since winning the French Open last year.

It was Nadal’s 46th title on clay, tying him with Guillermo Vilas for the most titles on the sandy surface in the Open Era.

It was Nadal’s 65th career crown on all surfaces, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the Open Era all-time list led by the 109 titles of American Jimmy Connors.

Nadal broke Monaco’s serve late in the first set to take a 1-0 lead against the 60th-ranked Argentine, then dominated the second to close out the match in 1 hour, 26 minutes.

Rain in Buenos Aires delayed the start of the match and caused its interruption at 1-1 in the first set.

Nadal, who had to deal with injuries in recent months, now has 65 singles titles.

Nadal Defeats Carlos Berlocq to Reach Argentina Open Final

Rafael Nadal is back in a men’s final after a long drought…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis star beat Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7), 6-2 on Saturday, setting up an all-Latino final against Juan Monaco at the Argentina Open.

Rafael Nadal

If he wins Sunday, Nadal will tie Guillermo Vilas for the most clay-court titles with 46.

The top-seeded Nadal was on the brink of losing the first set against the 74th-ranked Berlocq, falling 6-1 to the Argentine in the tiebreak, but the Spaniard won eight of the next nine points to make his first final since winning the Roland Garros title almost nine months.

Monaco, seeking his second title at the Argentina Open, edged Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-4 in 2 hours, 28 minutes.

The 60th-ranked Argentine saved 12 of 15 the break points he allowed to Almagro.

Monaco Claims 300th ATP Tour-Level Win at Shenzhen Open

Juan Monaco is part of Argentina’s Magnificent Seven

The 30-year-old Argentine tennis player, a former World No. 10, claimed his 300th tour-level win on Wednesday at the Shenzhen Open as he battled past Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in just under two hours.

Juan Monaco

“It’s amazing. 300 victories is a lot,” said Monaco, who has eight career titles. “It’s a gift and it gives me a boost of power for my next matches. I’m really happy.”

Monaco has become the seventh Argentine player in the Open Era to win at least 300 singles matches on the ATP World Tour, joining an illustrious group that includes tennis legend Guillermo Vilas (928 wins), as well as David Nalbandian (383) and Juan Martin del Potro (312).

Additionally, Monaco becomes the 26th active member on the ATP World Tour (sixth this season) to win at least 300 career matches.

Monaco’s first tour-level win came on home soil in Buenos Aires in 2004 against Nicolas Lapentti. Speaking to, he hailed his greatest win as being his victory over Tommy Haas in the 2012 Hamburg final.

“I think the most important victory in my life was the match I won in Hamburg. It was really important for me because I knew before the match that if I won, I’d break into the Top 10. Also it was the final of an [ATP World Tour] 500, in Germany, against Tommy. It was incredible and the best day of my life for sure.”

Here’s a look at Monaco’s achievements By The Numbers


Player Match Wins No.
  1. Guillermo Vilas
  1. David Nalbandian
  1. Jose-Luis Clerc
  1. Juan Ignacio Chela
  1. Juan Martin del Potro
  1. Martin Jaime
  1. Juan Monaco


Andújar Defeats Juan Monaco to Win First Title in More Than Two Years

The title drought is over for Pablo Andújar

The 28-year-old Spanish tenista beat Argentina’s Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-5 in the Swiss Open final on Sunday to claim his first ATP title in more than two years.

Pablo Andújar

It was the 71st-ranked player’s third career title, all on clay courts. He also won at Casablanca, Morocco, in 2011 and 2012.

Andújar got the only break in the first set to take a 5-3 lead and then held serve to close out the set.

Pablo Andújar

Monaco, ranked No. 105 two years after being in the top 10, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second and served for the set up 5-3.

But Andújar reeled off four straight games, clinching the match by holding serve at love.

Andújar Defeats Fernando Verdasco to Reach the Swiss Open Final

Pablo Andújar could soon have a third ATP title…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis player has advanced to the Swiss Open men’s final.

Pablo Andújar

Andújar, unseeded in the tournament and ranked No. 71, beat fourth-seeded Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-1 in an all-Spain semifinal at the clay-court Roy Emerson Arena.

Andújar wasted a winning chance in the second set when, two points from victory at 5-3, he sent down back-to-back double faults.

However, he dominated the decider with three service breaks.

He’ll face Argentina’s Juan Monaco in Sunday’s final.

Monaco rallied from losing the first three games to win 6-3, 7-6 (4) against seventh-seeded Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

Monaco, now 105th-ranked two years after peaking at No. 10, will seek his ninth career title Sunday.

Delbonis Defeats Albert Montanes to Reach the Brazil Open Semifinals

There’s no crying for Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, only cheering…

The 23-year-old professional tennis player soundly defeated Spain’s Albert Montanes in just over an hour to advance to the Brazil Open semifinals.

Federico Delbonis

Delbonis, currently ranked No. 61 in the world, beat Montanes in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

He’s now one win away from reaching the second ATP tournament final of his career as he continues his quest to win his first career title.

Delbonis will next face either home-crowd favorite Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil or Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t such a positive experience for his fellow countrymen…

Top-seeded Tommy Haas came back to defeat Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals.

Haas broke Zeballos’ serve twice in a row in the decisive set to close the match and take a step closer to his second final of the year.

Haas will next play Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, who reached his first ATP semifinal with an upset 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 6-4 win over fourth-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina.

“Lorenzi has been around for a long time so this is a goal I’m sure he has been waiting to achieve for a lifetime,” Haas said. “He has nothing to lose and is going to try to go one more and get to his first ATP tour final. He is a dangerous player. I’m going to have to try to play some of my best tennis.”

The 114th-ranked Lorenzi broke Monaco’s serve to go up 4-3 in the final set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 34 minutes at the Ibirapuera Arena.

The 32-year-old Italian squandered a match point before losing the second set, but was in control in the third to pick up the win in the ATP 250 tournament in South America’s biggest city.

Lorenzi served 12 aces en route to his first pro semifinal after five career quarterfinal losses.

“I’m very happy to finally break through to the semifinals,” Lorenzi said. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities before but was never able to come up with the victory at this stage. For sure this is one of my greatest weeks on the tour.”

The 43rd-ranked Monaco was trying to win his 200th clay-court match. He is the fifth-highest winner on the surface, behind Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and Nicolas Almagro.

Monaco had a set point in the first set but couldn’t capitalize on it.

“It was a very close match, he had his chances in the first set and I had mine in the second, it was very difficult,” Lorenzi said.

Nadal, the defending champion, is not playing at the clay-court tournament this year. He chose to play at the first edition of the Rio Open, which he won last week.

Bellucci Reaches Quarterfinals at the Brazil Open

Thomaz Bellucci is making a statement at his home tournament…

The 26-year-old Brazilian tennis player continued to feed off his home crowd Thursday, defeating Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Brazil Open.

Thomaz Bellucci

Bellucci, a wild card in the tournament, broke Haider-Maurer’s serve early in the third set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 36 minutes at the Ibirapuera arena.

Bellucci, currently ranked 108th, will now play Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who upset third-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4, 6-3.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina reached the quarterfinals with a marathon 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-5 victory over Albert Ramos of Spain in nearly three hours. He will face Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, who cruised past win Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-4, 6-3.

Top-seeded Tommy Haas will play his quarterfinal match against 116th-ranked Horacio Zeballos of Argentina on Friday.

Bellucci Defeats Santiago Giraldo to Advance in the Brazil Open

He may be playing on a wild card at the Brazil Open… But Thomaz Bellucci is proving he’s worth the spot.

The 26-year-old Brazilian tennis player pulled off an upset win over Santiago Giraldo, defeating the Colombian – the tournament’s eight seed – 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round of the Brazil Open.

Thomaz Bellucci

The home-crowd favorite broke Giraldo’s serve to go up 4-2 in the final set, then held on to close out the match in just over two hours at the Ibirapuera arena. The break came right after Giraldo called for treatment on his lower back in between games.

Belluci, ranked No. 108 in the world, had six aces, including three in the decisive set.

“I couldn’t hold on to a 3-0 lead in the first set but I started playing better after that,” Bellucci said. “It makes a big difference to be playing at home with the support of the fans. They got behind me and I got to play more aggressively toward the end. It made a huge difference.”

Bellucci beat Giraldo in three sets last week at the Rio Open. He’ll next face Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer in the second round.

But Belluci isn’t the only Latino playing well in the tournament…

Earlier Tuesday, Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva defeated sixth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in 2 hours, 17 minutes. Albert Montanes of Spain beat Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-2, 6-2, while Federico Delbonis of Argentina defeated Filippo Volandri of Italy 6-1, 6-2.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is not playing at the clay-court tournament this year. He won the Rio Open last week.

Second-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain will play Delbonis, while third-seeded Marcel Granollers plays Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

Argentina’s Juan Monaco, who had a bye in the first round along with the other top seeds, debuts against countrymen Guido Pella.