And two for Adrian Mannarino. The 34-year-old Frenchman, who had trouble unlocking his meter and had won his first final in 2019, won the second trophy of his career on Saturday at Winston Salem. In the final, he beat the Serbian Laslo Djere, disgusted by the regularity of his opponent (7-6 , 6-4). This victory is all the sweeter for Mannarino as he had saved four match points to win his first round last Monday.
After this complicated start, the Frenchman has mastered his subject. Four matches played against top seeds, four matches won and solidity in service almost foolproof (only one break conceded in these four matches). So when he lost his face-off very early in this final, we wondered if he hadn’t lost the thread a bit. But Mannarino did not panic, revolted not to give up the double break before catching up on an XXL exchange which cracked the Serb.
Instantly, Djere took a while to recover, a bit stunned after this extended showdown. No doubt he understood that he would definitely not wear down the 65th in the world, but when he tried to speed up the game, he made too many inaccuracies, such as the tie-break, dominated no problem by Mannarino. The second set started with four straight shutouts. After this balanced round, Djere again made mistakes. Including some unwelcome double faults. And he ended up giving up his service on a new forehand fault.
In a very good position thanks to this clinical success (2/2 on his break points at that time), Mannarino no longer let go of his prey. He blacked out his first match point (on an opposing serve) with a nasty smash but did not miss the final volley a few minutes later on his second opportunity. He is the first Frenchman to win this Winston Salem tournament and he savored it without much effusion. The US Open is now waiting for him. Fortunately, his first round, against Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer, is scheduled for Tuesday.