Montanes beats local hero Gil to retain Estoril crown

Lisbon: Spain`s Albert Montanes won the Estoril Open for the second successive year by battling past local favourite Frederico Gil 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 on Sunday.

World number 133 Gil was the first Portuguese player to reach the Estoril final, and the convincing way he won his first game without losing a point made the home crowd believe he could upset an opponent 99 places above him in the rankings.

But clay-court specialist Montanes, who knocked out world number one Roger Federer on Saturday, took control by breaking in the fifth and seventh games to take the first set.

The 29-year-old Spaniard looked set to clinch the match with a succession of finely-placed drop shots and backhand cross-court drives but Gil saved two match points at 5-4 and, with the crowd behind him, bounced back to win the tiebreak.

With Montanes rattled, the 25-year-old Portuguese raced to a 3-0 lead in the third set. Montanes regained his composure, however, and with Gil tiring after having played two lengthy matches in the last two days, the Spaniard stepped up the pace to close the match.

Bureau Report