mc00pioline_hrbaty

Points won by each set: [ 37-23, 45-38, 48-49 ]
Points won directly on serve:
31 % Pioline – 40 of 127
21 % Hrbaty – 24 of 113

Pioline [12] and Todd Martin (both two-time major runners-up) were the best players of the 90s who didn’t win anything big in that decade, and quite unexpectedly at the age of 31, Pioline finally captured his big title in Monaco. He was quite lucky that he didn’t face any typical clay-courter from Spain or Argentina (there were plenty of them at the beginning of the Century); instead he defeated four Czecho-Slovaks, so the old school, based on flat ground-strokes that suited the Frenchman much more. Both, him and Hrbaty [24], survived one match before the final when they seemed done (Hrbaty vs. Kafelnikov 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 from 1:4 in the decider). The final was played in gloomy weather, each set was significantly longer than the previous one. There was 4-all in the opener, but Pioline controlled it from the beginning. In the 2nd set he trailed *3:4 (30/40) and 5:6 (15/30) when played his best backhand of the match; in the 3rd set the things were more complicated as he trailed *3:5… at 5-all he survived the longest game of the day (9 deuces, saved 4 mini-set points) playing very aggressively. In the tie-break he overcame a 2:4 deficit and converted his second match point after a 21-stroke rally running sideways a lot. He became the first French champion of the event in 37 years.

Pioline’s route to his 5th and last title:
1 Magnus Larsson 6-2, 6-2
2 Jiri Novak 6-4, 6-3
3 Slava Dosedel 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
Q Karol Kucera 6-2, 6-4
S Karim Alami 6-3, 6-1
W Dominik Hrbaty 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(6)

# Pioline saved a game point trailing 3-6 1:4* vs Dosedel, he was also a break down in the decider
Serve & volley: Pioline 15/20, Hrbaty 0

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1 Response to mc00pioline_hrbaty

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    It was third and last Pioline’s victory 3-0 with the help of two tie-breaks, but the second within half a year following his victory over Hewitt,
    in which only two games more were played, but it lasted 1 hour longer

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