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The world no.14 and 3rd seed Juan Monaco overcame the challenge of home favorite Tommy Haas in a relatively close straight sets affair, 7-5, 6-4 to bag his third ATP World Tour clay court title of the season at the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships 2012. The victory also guarantees the Argentine a spot in the Top 10 for the very first time in his career. The match was far from routine for the Argentine, being forced to dig out of numerous spots of bother largely owing to his trademark determination and grit to edge past the inspired veteran. The local boy, who put a halt to his 3 year title draught thanks to a title in the Gerry Weber Open in June, was unable to deliver at the critical moments with his unforced errors count proving to be his undoing.
The 34 year old drew first blood in the opening set scoring the first break in the 4th game with the help of some cracking backhand winners to get his nose ahead in the first set. However, the Argentine's relentless defense continued to cause the German to pull the trigger at inopportune times which finally resulted in the veteran relinquishing his break in the 8th game to get the scores back on level terms. The all-important break came in the 11th game thanks in no small part to again the 3rd seed's outstanding retrieval skills to give him the opportunity to serve for the set, which he did with minimum fuss to pocket the first set in an hour.
The 2nd set proved to be a topsy-turvy affair, witnessing as many as 5 breaks in total. Like the previous set, it was the local favorite who struck first due to some poor errors this time from the racquet of the Argentine. Just like in the previous set, Monaco was not to be denied reciprocating the favor in the very next game to bring the set back to an even keel.
Another couple of breaks brought the scores to 4-all, with serve at times appearing to be a liability for both players. However, a 3rd consecutive break for Monaco in the 9th game of the set with the help of some superlative play by the Argentine proved to be the coup d'Ã©tat. The 3rd seed served for the title in scintillating style, rounding off proceeding with a forehand volley to dispatch his spirited opponent in 2 hours.
 Juan Monaco d. Tommy Haas 7-5, 6-4
File Photograph Copyright: Madrid Masters
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