Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) - Jurgen Melzer captured the Winston-Salem
Open title when Gael Monfils was forced to retire in the second set of
Saturday's final because of an abdominal injury.
Melzer was ahead, 6-3, 2-1, when Monfils reluctantly called it quits, giving
the Austrian his fifth career title and first in an outdoor hardcourt event.
He hadn't won since claiming the Memphis indoor tournament in February 2012.
The ninth-seeded Melzer entered this week with a four-match losing streak. He
had lost the opener in each of his last three events after a run to the fourth
round at Wimbledon.
"I'm very happy to have won the title. Losing (early) in Montreal and
Cincinnati, I was a little upset. I'm very happy to have played well here,"
said Melzer during the trophy ceremony.
After battling past American Sam Querrey in the semifinals, Melzer wasted
little time Saturday in grabbing control against Monfils. He opened a quick
3-0 lead with a break of serve and didn't face a break point in claiming the
opening set in 33 minutes.
Monfils appeared to hurt himself while serving early in the second set and
Melzer earned a break for a 2-1 lead. The Frenchman received treatment during
the changeover after the third game and decided he was unable to continue.
The oft-injured Monfils fell to 4-15 lifetime in finals, including 0-2 this
year. He also lost to Albert Montanes in the Nice final before the French Open
Monfils will hope to be ready for the start of the U.S. Open next week. He is
scheduled to face Adrian Ungur in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
"Hopefully I will have a speedy recovery in order to be ready for next week,"
said Monfils on the court after the match.
Melzer, who has never been past the fourth round in 11 previous trips to the
U.S. Open, is slated to play Evgeny Donskoy in the first round next week.
Saturday's victory improved Melzer to 5-8 all-time in finals, including 1-1
this year, and gave him a first prize of $76,900. He lost to Marin Cilic in
the Zagreb final back in February.
The Sports Network