Photograph: Getty Images
Adrian Mannarino has lifted an ATP title for the second time in his career after taking out the Winston-Salem Open in the United States.
The 34-year-old became the oldest champion in the tournament’s history following his 7-6(1), 6-4 victory over Serbia’s Laslo Djere in an hour and 44 minutes.
Mannarino’s victory was made all the more remarkable after surviving a tough opening-round encounter against Aussie Chris O’Connell. The Frenchman saved four match points after falling to 0-40 down as he attempted to take the final set into a deciding tiebreak.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Mannarino who failed to drop a set for the remainder of the tournament and only conceded 35 games in his next five matches.
Following the match, Mannarino was delighted to call himself a champion again.
"I'm just happy I won the tournament, no matter who won before or who's going to win after," Mannarino said post-match.
"It's just something that I've [accomplished] for now and I'm really happy with that."
The Frenchman was able to utilise his typical grit on the court to save himself from going down a double break in the opening set before reeling Djere in and forcing a tiebreak.
“I was able to keep my nerve and just be focussed on what I had to do. I was able to break back at 4-3 and then I kept being consistent until the end.
“I knew that Laslo had a really exhausting week and probably if we were going to have a tough battle I would get the win because physically I was a little bit fresher."
The title was Mannarino’s first since his victory on the grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosch back in 2019.
The win also saw Mannarino leap 20 places in the rankings to No. 45 in the world as he prepares to have a tilt at the US Open.
On the doubles court, it was a successful team debut for Aussie Matt Ebden and Brit Jamie Murray after they took out the Winston-Salem Open.
The duo defeated Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 16 minutes to lift their first title together.
"When we spoke last week about playing here, I thought immediately it works perfectly," Ebden said post-match.
"Jamie plays on the deuce court, I've been playing on the ad [side]. We've known each other a long time. First time [playing] together but we've known each other, we've seen each other around many times.
"You never really know how its going to go, but I like to think we both know what we're doing out there and we're lucky we executed a lot of good points and played a lot of big points well. That was the key to the week."