Monaco mounts a comeback to reach Gstaad final

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 26, 2014, 22:18 PM IST

Argentine Juan Monaco claimed a place in his first final in almost a year on Saturday as he defeated Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) at the Swiss Open.

The ATP number 105, who has slipped out of the top 100 after a series of injuries going back to late 2013, recovered from breaks down in both sets to claim victory over the Dutch seventh seed, a losing finalist here a year ago to Mikhail Youzhny.

Monaco will play the winner from a pair of Spaniards as fourth seeded Fernando Verdasco faces Pablo Andujar.

The 30-year-old Argentine went through to his first final since Kitzbuehel 51 weeks ago after playing his first semi-final of 2014.

"At the start I didn`t play well, he deserved his 3-0 lead. But I began playing better and got into the match," Monaco said of a contest which began four hours late due to rain.

"We had no time to really warm up but it was the same for both. I got some rhythm and hit the ball harder than him. I was able to get into control.

"In the second set I had some opportunities that I didn`t take, I was a bit nervous, I`ve not played a semi-final this season.

"But at the end I just relaxed and played my tennis,"

Monaco improved to 3-2 over Haas after losing the pair`s last two meetings.

The South American has been bothered by three different injuries this season -- his back, a wrist and a foot.

His victory took his 2014 record to 13-14 and 5-1 at this alpine village whose clay stands 1,050m above sea level.

Monaco came from 2-1 down in the second set after trailing 2-0 in the first.

He was eventually able to overpower a frustrated Haase, who has won two clay trophies at altitude in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

Monaco carried the second set into a tie-breaker and advanced to the title match on the second of three match points after one and three-quarter hours.

"I`m glad to be playing again. I`m just trying to be happy on court," said Monaco, who won with four breaks of serve.

"I`m happy now to reach the final and I`m looking forward to doing something good tomorrow."