Marcel Granollers won his fourth ATP Tour title after overcoming a disastrous start on Saturday, defeating second seed Juan Monaco of Argentina 0-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 in the Bet-at-Home Cup final.
The 53rd-ranked Spaniard won his first title since beating Monaco two years ago in Valencia, Spain, and in becoming the first Spanish winner in Kitzbuehel, Austria, since Alex Corretja in 2002, Granollers improved to 4-2 in career ATP finals.
“It’s a very special feeling to win here,” said Granollers, who had failed to go beyond the quarter-finals of an event this season, but ended Robin Haase’s two-year winning run in Kitzbuehel in the semi-finals.
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 in Kitzbuehel 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 to settle, and broke himself 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 his 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.”