Sunday
December 21, 2014

Tennis — Kitzbuhel cup

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mónaco and González eliminated from semis

Juan Mónaco returns a shot to Dominic Thiem.

Thiem, Goffin reach maiden final

Juan Mónaco and Maximiliano González will not face each other in the Kitzbühel Cup final as the Argentines lost to Dominic Thiem and David Goffin, respectively, yesterday.

KITZBÜHEL, Austria — Argentines Juan Mónaco and Maximiliano González were eliminated from the Kitzbühel Cup semifinals yesterday.

Last year’s finalist Mónaco was beaten 6-3 6-1 by fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, a few hours after defeating fourth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2 3-6 6-3 in a rescheduled quarterfinal.

Thiem won 6-4 7-5 over defending champion Marcel Granollers of Spain in a quarterfinal moved from Thursday because of rain.

Between those matches, David Goffin of Belgium rallied to beat “Machi” González 5-7 6-4 6-3 in the first semifinal.

It’s the first career final for both Thiem and Goffin, who has beaten the Austrian twice this season.

The 20-year-old Thiem, the youngest player in the top 50, broke Mónaco early in both sets and closed out the win within an hour.

With this defeat, Mónaco wasted his chance of reaching his second straight final. It was also the first time in the year that the Argentine reached the semifinals in two tournaments in a row.

“I lost my first Futures final as well as my first Challenger final,” said Thiem. “I hope that this series will end tomorrow (today) here in Kitzbühel. David has plenty of confidence, he’s been playing unbelievably well during the last few weeks. The crowd has been a huge help this week. They carried me through some very difficult matches.”

Against the second-seeded Granollers, Thiem was 3-1 down in the opening set before winning 10 of the next 15 games for a 5-2 lead in the second. He failed to serve out the match at 5-3 but broke Granollers again at 6-5.

The 78th-ranked Goffin entered the event on a wild card. Since losing to Andy Murray in the first round at Wimbledon, Goffin has been enjoying a winning streak of 19 matches, including three challenger events he won.

“I didn’t expect to be in the final this week, 19 victories in a row is unbelievable,” said Goffin. “After the third Challenger in Tampere, I was a little bit tired, but I played with confidence. I came here, not knowing how I would be physically. But this week, I have played well. I am relaxed and have developed my confidence.”

Goffin dropped serve twice in the opening set against González but dominated play afterward, converting his fifth match point with a return winner.

Goffin beat Thiem 6-4 6-2 in their lone ATP head to head clash at the Aegon Championships in June. The Belgian also won their Mexican Open qualifying match in February.

Filip Dewulf was the last Belgian titlist in Kitzbühel in 1997.

Herald staff with AP, ATP

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