For the final day at the FriulAdria Crédit Agricole Tennis Cup, the sun eventually returned to the Province of Pordenone. During the week, players had to deal with contrary weather but for Sunday’s climax conditions were perfect.
In the singles final fifth-seed Albert Montaňes topped the tournament’s number seven Potito Starace in their tenth meeting. The two 33-year-olds faced off on four ATP World Tour occasions (3-1 for the Spaniard) and five on the Challenger circuit (3-2 for Montaňes).
The world number 134 was dominant right from the beginning, capitalized on his first break point in the fifth game through one of several unforced errors by the Italian. Starace seemed to find his rhythm when he gained his first break point opportunities in the eighth game but both were saved by Montaňes through nice forehand drop shots. After 26 minutes, the Spaniard took the opening set.
About 1.000 spectators fully supported their favourite but the match didn’t change in the second frame. Montaňes was still more solid from the baseline, hitting his groundstrokes close to the lines and finally served out winning 6-2, 6-4 in 67 minutes to claim his 8th ATP Challenger title, his first since 2012.
“I’m very happy today. It was a tough match, as Poto is a very good player but I played pretty well throughout the encounter,” Montaňens was satisfied with his performance. “This week was difficult because we had to face a lot of rain every day, which doesn’t make it easy to find your rhythm, so I’m happy that the sun finally came out today and we were able to play without any interruptions,” the Spaniard told Tennis TourTalk and added that he will go home for two or three days before he will leave for the United States playing the final Grand Slam of the season.
For the Italian the week also ended in a positive way. Potito Starace and Adrian Ungur took their first team title beating the tournament’s top-pair Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-2, 6-4 in one hour of play.