Melzer masters Monfils at Kooyong

Updated: 14 January 2012 13:49 IST

Austria's Jurgen Melzer recorded his second upset of a higher ranked opponent in a week to claim third-place honours at the Kooyong Classic on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-7 (10/12), 6-2 win over Gael Monfils.

Melzer masters Monfils at Kooyong

Melbourne:

Austria's Jurgen Melzer recorded his second upset of a higher ranked opponent in a week to claim third-place honours at the Kooyong Classic on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-7 (10/12), 6-2 win over Gael Monfils.

Fresh from beating French world number six Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday, Melzer dispatched Frenchman Monfils, who is ranked 15, to take third spot at the Australian Open tune-up event.

Australian teen sensation Bernard Tomic and American Mardy Fish will play later Saturday for the title at the historic Kooyong club, which was home to the grand slam until 1988.

Melzer, placed 33 in the rankings, said he was pleased to have beaten the flamboyant Monfils for the first time in his career.

"It's always tough to play him, he gets so many balls back," said the Austrian. "You think the rally is over but the ball keeps coming back.

"It was great to beat him for the first time, I'm very happy about it."

Melzer, 30, and a Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion, now heads into the Australian Open and a draw against one of the tallest men in the game, Croatian Ivo Karlovic.

Monfils faces Australian Marinko Matosevic in the first round, which starts on Monday in Melbourne.

The Frenchman lived up to his reputation for improvised shot-making on Saturday, throwing his racquet at a ball in desperate but successful effort to make a return. The shot was ruled good to Melzer's surprise.

"To make a shot like that just shows his talent," said the bemused veteran.

Melzer won the first set but was out-hit in the dramatic second as Monfils levelled at a set each on a fifth set point, clawing back three Melzer match points.

The Austrian went up to breaks in the third to finally nail down the victory.

"I'm hitting the ball OK, the first days had hard conditions with all the wind," said the winner. "Today it was just a little windy.

"My first match at the Open could not be against a more different opponent though. I'm happy to have won two matches here."

Topics : Tennis Gael Monfils Jurgen Melzer Rafael Nadal Wimbledon 2011
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