Adrian Mannarino’s started his week saving four match points in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open. After surviving three tiebreaks in his opening match, the Frenchman never dropped a set en route to the ATP 250 title.
With a 7-6(1), 6-4 win against Laslo Djere in Saturday’s final, the 34-year-old became the oldest champion in the tournament’s history, as well as the first French champion.
Mannarino saved two break points to avoid a double break in the opening set, before converting his first break chance to 4-4. He then sprinted to the lead by winning the last six points of the tiebreak.
Set two started with four loveholds before the Frenchman made the crucial breakthrough in the seventh game of the set. After missing a match point on his return at 5-3, he took the win with his fourth love grab of the match lasting an hour and 44 minutes.
Mannarino finished with 20 winners and was dominant behind the first serve, taking 83 percent (30/36) of the points on his first delivery. After a slow start, he grew into the match and commanded the late stages against Djere, who played three sets in each of his first four matches before winning a grueling two-set semi-final against Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea. Huesler.
For some added history, Mannarino is also the second southpaw to win the Winston Salem title after Jurgen Melzer in 2013. At 32 years old, Melzer was the event’s oldest champion until Mannarino’s win.
The Frenchman is the fourth lefty to win a tour-level title this season (Rafael Nadal, 4; Cameron Norrie, 2; Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 1). His title run took him 20 places this week to number 45 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
More to follow…