The Frenchman ended the dream run of #NextGenATP American Alex Michelsen 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Infosys Hall of Fame Open. It is the lefty’s first title of the season.
Early in his career, Mannarino struggled in ATP Tour finals, losing the first six he played. But the 35-year-old has won two of his past three championship clashes and is now a three-time tour-level champion.
Eighteen-year-old Michelsen showed no fear of the big stage throughout his second ATP Tour event, at which he upset two former Newport champions, Maxime Cressy and John Isner. But Mannarino smartly prevented the teen from finding any rhythm, especially in longer rallies.
Michelsen won 31 per cent of his return points against Isner, one of the best servers in history. But he managed to claim just 27 per cent of his return points against Mannarino, who used his lefty slice to keep the ball out of the American’s strike zone.
After a one-sided first set, Michelsen battled hard and immediately broke to take the lead in the second set. But Mannarino was too steady throughout and ultimately lifted the trophy after one hour and 22 minutes.
Michelsen, who did not own a tour-level win entering the tournament, nearly became the youngest ATP Tour titlist this season and the fourth teen to claim a crown. Last week he earned his first ATP Challenger Tour trophy in Chicago.
Did You Know?
Mannarino also reached a grass-court final earlier this year in Mallorca. Two of his three ATP Tour titles have come on the surface, having earned his first title four years ago in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
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