Monaco dethrones Sock in Houston thriller


Juan Monaco's injury hell might finally be behind him after the Argentinean took out the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston with a win over defending champion Jack Sock in the final.

The American took out the first set but failed to turn his advantage into a second straight title at River Oaks, as Monaco - a winner at the tournament in 2012 - rallied to win the match 3-6 6-3 7-5 in two hours, 18 minutes on Sunday.

The win was 32-year-old Monaco's ninth career title, making him the tournament's oldest champion since Andre Agassi in 2003 at the same age.

Monaco missed the back end of 2015 with a wrist injury which also delayed his start coming into 2016, and this title will be enough to move him back into the top 100 and grant him a place in the French Open.

Sock looked the goods in the opener, breaking Monaco twice from two return games, and serving out the set comfortably, despite being broken in his second service game.

But Monaco proved a lot more solid on his serve in the second set, where he did not give up a single break point, converting one of the four he forced to take out the set

It was the first time anyone had taken a set off Sock in Houston since he dropped the first of his opening match last year.

Since, he had won 16 straight sets, making it 17 by taking the opener of the final, but Monaco fought back bravely to take the second.

The third set proved a topsy-turvy affair as both men showed fatigue on serve.

Sock was broken in the first game, and went two breaks down in the fifth to trail Monaco 4-1 in the decider, but the American rallied to win the next four straight games - breaking Monaco twice - to take a 5-4 lead.

But just as he got himself back in the game, the Argentine found his form once more, winning his next service game before breaking Sock again to serve out the match and pick up his ninth title from 20 finals on clay.