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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Adrian Mannarino

Adrian Mannarino entered Sunday’s Libema Open final having lost his first six ATP Tour championship matches. But the lefty would not be denied, defeating Aussie Jordan Thompson 7-6(7), 6-3 to earn his first crown. The 30-year-old had previously reached two grass-court finals, both in Antalya. But he finally broke through in ‘s-Hertogenbosch against Thompson, a first-time ATP Tour finalist.

ATPTour.com caught up with Mannarino after his win…

How does it feel to be holding your first ATP Tour trophy?
That feels pretty good. This is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time now. I’ve been losing many finals before achieving this first title, so it feels pretty good.

Was this a goal that you’ve had as a junior and did you think it would take this long, at age 30, to do it?
Actually I didn’t have a real goal when I was a junior. My ambition was to be one of the Top 100 players. With time I saw that my ATP Ranking was getting better. I was not far from getting a title. Ever since I got my first final in Auckland in 2015 I really wanted a title badly. It took time, but I finally made it and it’s something that I’ll have forever.

Did you go into your seventh final with a different mindset after losing your previous six?
Not really. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been handling my stress better than the other times. I don’t think the quality of the match was the best. But there is always a first time and actually I don’t really care about the way I played. I’m just happy that I finally made it and I feel that if I have to play another final in the future it is going to be way easier after winning a title already.

Adrian Mannarino defeats Jordan Thompson in two hours and one minute to win the Libema Open title on Sunday.

What do you think you did well during the week to put together five wins in a row for the first time?
I’ve been pretty consistent during the whole week. I’ve been playing with some really good players and I was not expecting to beat these kind of players, especially on grass. But I was feeling good on the court, I was enjoying my game and just battling all the time and I finally got through match after match. I don’t really know the reason why I finally won this week, but that’s alright.

You dropped the first set against Verdasco, Goffin and Coric. What does that require from you mentally to come back?
It was not that hard mentally. I was enjoying my game. It was a really cool match, especially against David. I like the way he’s playing. I always have a lot of fun playing against him. It was cool, I was feeling good on court after a couple months on clay courts where I was not playing my best. So I was just happy about the way I was playing and I finally got through some tough matches, but I was not thinking that much. I was just enjoying the moment.

Read More: The Maturation Of Mannarino

Now that you’ve won your first title, what are your next goals?
My goal is to try to do my best day after day, whether in practice or during my matches. I’m trying to be as professional as I can. I don’t think about goals in terms of rankings or tournaments, I’m just going on court every day and trying to do my best. So I’ll stay with that goal and see what the future will bring.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge who has helped you get to where you are today?
There are a lot of people of course, especially when I was a kid growing up playing at a little club. My parents have been doing a lot of sacrificing to get me to this level and also my family. I had a lot of coaches and physical coaches and I’d like to thank all the people who were involved in this project and finally made it possible for me to get a title and maybe more in the future.

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Adrian Mannarino

Adrian Mannarino entered Sunday’s Libema Open final having lost his first six ATP Tour championship matches. But the lefty would not be denied, defeating Aussie Jordan Thompson 7-6(7), 6-3 to earn his first crown. The 30-year-old had previously reached two grass-court finals, both in Antalya. But he finally broke through in ‘s-Hertogenbosch against Thompson, a first-time ATP Tour finalist.

ATPTour.com caught up with Mannarino after his win…

How does it feel to be holding your first ATP Tour trophy?
That feels pretty good. This is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time now. I’ve been losing many finals before achieving this first title, so it feels pretty good.

Was this a goal that you’ve had as a junior and did you think it would take this long, at age 30, to do it?
Actually I didn’t have a real goal when I was a junior. My ambition was to be one of the Top 100 players. With time I saw that my ATP Ranking was getting better. I was not far from getting a title. Ever since I got my first final in Auckland in 2015 I really wanted a title badly. It took time, but I finally made it and it’s something that I’ll have forever.

Did you go into your seventh final with a different mindset after losing your previous six?
Not really. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been handling my stress better than the other times. I don’t think the quality of the match was the best. But there is always a first time and actually I don’t really care about the way I played. I’m just happy that I finally made it and I feel that if I have to play another final in the future it is going to be way easier after winning a title already.

Adrian Mannarino defeats Jordan Thompson in two hours and one minute to win the Libema Open title on Sunday.

What do you think you did well during the week to put together five wins in a row for the first time?
I’ve been pretty consistent during the whole week. I’ve been playing with some really good players and I was not expecting to beat these kind of players, especially on grass. But I was feeling good on the court, I was enjoying my game and just battling all the time and I finally got through match after match. I don’t really know the reason why I finally won this week, but that’s alright.

You dropped the first set against Verdasco, Goffin and Coric. What does that require from you mentally to come back?
It was not that hard mentally. I was enjoying my game. It was a really cool match, especially against David. I like the way he’s playing. I always have a lot of fun playing against him. It was cool, I was feeling good on court after a couple months on clay courts where I was not playing my best. So I was just happy about the way I was playing and I finally got through some tough matches, but I was not thinking that much. I was just enjoying the moment.

Read More: The Maturation Of Mannarino

Now that you’ve won your first title, what are your next goals?
My goal is to try to do my best day after day, whether in practice or during my matches. I’m trying to be as professional as I can. I don’t think about goals in terms of rankings or tournaments, I’m just going on court every day and trying to do my best. So I’ll stay with that goal and see what the future will bring.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge who has helped you get to where you are today?
There are a lot of people of course, especially when I was a kid growing up playing at a little club. My parents have been doing a lot of sacrificing to get me to this level and also my family. I had a lot of coaches and physical coaches and I’d like to thank all the people who were involved in this project and finally made it possible for me to get a title and maybe more in the future.

Read & Watch: Mahut Comes To Ballgirl’s Aid At The Queen’s Club

Qualifier Nicolas Mahut defeated American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6(5) on Monday to reach the second round of the Fever-Tree Championships. But one of the most memorable moments of the match came at 5-5 in the second set.

Mahut was deep behind the baseline playing defence against the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier when he could not get to a ball in the backhand corner. However, the 37-year-old could not stop his momentum on the grass and eventually slipped and fell into a ballgirl. 

The Frenchman showed little concern about himself, immediately standing up to make sure that the ballgirl was alright. The World No. 191 went on to close out the match in the tie-break, hitting nine aces and winning 52 per cent of his second-serve return points in his one-hour, 22-minute triumph.

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Read & Watch: Mahut Comes To Ballgirl’s Aid At The Queen’s Club

Qualifier Nicolas Mahut defeated American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6(5) on Monday to reach the second round of the Fever-Tree Championships. But one of the most memorable moments of the match came at 5-5 in the second set.

Mahut was deep behind the baseline playing defence against the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier when he could not get to a ball in the backhand corner. However, the 37-year-old could not stop his momentum on the grass and eventually slipped and fell into a ballgirl. 

The Frenchman showed little concern about himself, immediately standing up to make sure that the ballgirl was alright. The World No. 191 went on to close out the match in the tie-break, hitting nine aces and winning 52 per cent of his second-serve return points in his one-hour, 22-minute triumph.

Watch Live

Kyrgios On Murray Practising: ‘I Couldn’t Believe What I Was Seeing’

One year ago, Nick Kyrgios played Andy Murray at the Fever-Tree Championships. This year, the Aussie is cheering for his friend, as the former World No. 1 is making his return from hip surgery on the doubles court alongside Feliciano Lopez.

“It’s great to see him back. I think results don’t matter. Just to see him back healthy and seeing him happy on court is all that matters,” Kyrgios said. “He’s actually the first person I saw yesterday on the court doing doubles drills, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Murray last competed at the Australian Open before undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery on 28 January. The Scot did not know if he’d ever be able to return, but he is back on The Queen’s Club grass, where he has captured five singles titles.

“[It’s] unbelievable. He’s a warrior. I hit with him a couple times in London, obviously when I took a spell from the French,” said Kyrgios, who was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros due to a stomach bug. “He’s still hitting the ball unbelievable. I think he’s good enough to do damage in any doubles [match made up] of any players, especially this week with Feliciano. I’d almost pay to watch that match. They’re going to be tough to beat. He’s a legend.”

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Kyrgios, currently No. 39 in the ATP Rankings, is trying to get back on track himself having lost four of his past five matches. At last week’s MercedesCup, the Aussie fell in the first round to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini.

“It’s been good [preparation]. Obviously didn’t get too many matches last week in Stuttgart, but I lost to the eventual winner,” Kyrgios said. “Played a bit of dubs last week and got here and had a hit. Have been feeling good. This is probably my favourite time of the year. Obviously the Aussie summer is pretty good, but just being in London when the weather is like this is pretty hard to beat. Just playing on grass every day, it’s a lot of fun.”

Kyrgios made the semi-finals at The Queen’s Club last year, and he has long enjoyed success on grass, beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2014 when he was just 19.

“I definitely feel like I can do damage. I have had a lot of good wins on grass,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously made a quarter-final run [at Wimbledon] when I was a little bit younger, but I think if the stars align, for sure I can do damage there.”

The 24-year-old is staying in the present though, only worrying about the challenges in front of him at The Queen’s Club. In the first round, he faces Adrian Mannarino, who lifted his maiden ATP Tour trophy on Sunday at the Libema Open.

“I’ve got a tough match tomorrow against a guy who won a title yesterday,” Kyrgios said. “I want to have a good week here, find my feet.”

Kyrgios On Murray Practising: ‘I Couldn’t Believe What I Was Seeing’

One year ago, Nick Kyrgios played Andy Murray at the Fever-Tree Championships. This year, the Aussie is cheering for his friend, as the former World No. 1 is making his return from hip surgery on the doubles court alongside Feliciano Lopez.

“It’s great to see him back. I think results don’t matter. Just to see him back healthy and seeing him happy on court is all that matters,” Kyrgios said. “He’s actually the first person I saw yesterday on the court doing doubles drills, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Murray last competed at the Australian Open before undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery on 28 January. The Scot did not know if he’d ever be able to return, but he is back on The Queen’s Club grass, where he has captured five singles titles.

“[It’s] unbelievable. He’s a warrior. I hit with him a couple times in London, obviously when I took a spell from the French,” said Kyrgios, who was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros due to a stomach bug. “He’s still hitting the ball unbelievable. I think he’s good enough to do damage in any doubles [match made up] of any players, especially this week with Feliciano. I’d almost pay to watch that match. They’re going to be tough to beat. He’s a legend.”

Watch Live

Kyrgios, currently No. 39 in the ATP Rankings, is trying to get back on track himself having lost four of his past five matches. At last week’s MercedesCup, the Aussie fell in the first round to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini.

“It’s been good [preparation]. Obviously didn’t get too many matches last week in Stuttgart, but I lost to the eventual winner,” Kyrgios said. “Played a bit of dubs last week and got here and had a hit. Have been feeling good. This is probably my favourite time of the year. Obviously the Aussie summer is pretty good, but just being in London when the weather is like this is pretty hard to beat. Just playing on grass every day, it’s a lot of fun.”

Kyrgios made the semi-finals at The Queen’s Club last year, and he has long enjoyed success on grass, beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2014 when he was just 19.

“I definitely feel like I can do damage. I have had a lot of good wins on grass,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously made a quarter-final run [at Wimbledon] when I was a little bit younger, but I think if the stars align, for sure I can do damage there.”

The 24-year-old is staying in the present though, only worrying about the challenges in front of him at The Queen’s Club. In the first round, he faces Adrian Mannarino, who lifted his maiden ATP Tour trophy on Sunday at the Libema Open.

“I’ve got a tough match tomorrow against a guy who won a title yesterday,” Kyrgios said. “I want to have a good week here, find my feet.”