Juan Monaco claimed his second Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship title Sunday afternoon, defeating defending champion Jack Sock 3-6 6-3 7-5.
After an early exchange of breaks, it was Sock who controlled play, serving out the opener in routine fashion.
In the fifth game of the second set Monaco got his second break of the match to take a 4-1 lead. He went on to serve out the set to send the final to a decider.
The third set looked as though it would be a breeze for Monaco as Sock seemed to be suffering from illness. After falling behind 1-4 the American rallied to take a 5-4 lead.
Once Monaco got the break to level the decider at 5-5 it was all over. He quickly went on to close out the match 7-5.
“It's almost like a dream come true”, Monaco said post-win.
This was the first U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship final to go to three sets since 2012 when Monaco defeated American Sam Querrey for the crown.
After the match Sock discussed his on-court health. “I'm not sure exactly what happened with my body,” he said. “Last night I didn't feel great. I was sweating in a very air conditioned room, so maybe possibly coming down with something.”
At 32, Monaco is the tournament’s oldest champion since Andre Agassi won at that same age in 2003.
Monaco missed the end of the 2015 with a wrist injury that also delayed his start to the 2016 season. His title win today propels him back into the Top 100.