Juan Monaco defeated John Isner 6-2 3-6 6-3 to win the title at the 2012 US Men’s Clay Court Championship.
The results this week at River Oaks will propel both players to career high rankings. Monaco will equal his career-best ranking at No. 13, while Isner moves to No. 9. The run to the final also moves Isner past Mardy Fish to make him the No. 1 ranked player from the United States.
The 2:27 match was the third final to go to three sets since the US Men’s Clay Court Championship moved to River Oaks in 2008.
Isner had held his first 45 service games of the week, but in his second service game of the final, Monaco broke him. The Argentine got a second break just four games later, and in only 29 minutes Monaco claimed the opening set.
Isner struck first in the second set, converting his fifth break chance of a long second game to open a 3-0 lead in the set. He almost gave the break back, saving three break points in a long seventh game that had seven deuces. Isner held on to take the set and level the match.
Monaco showed the first signs of faltering in the third set, double faulting in the fifth game to give Isner a couple of break chances. But Monaco won the next four points and the match stayed on serve.
In the sixth game, Isner had to save a break point of his own before ultimately surrendering his serve in the penultimate game to give Monaco a 5-3 lead.
This is Monaco’s fifth career title, all of which have been on clay, and his second of 2012.