Heineken Open, Auckland

Men’s Final: [CR44] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) vs. [CR63] Jiri Vesely (CZE)

Nerves played a major role in this match as both players were in their first ATP Tour final.  The winner would hoist his first ever ATP Tour trophy. Pressure, just a bit. Who would conquer the nerves first? Initially, it appeared that Mannarino had, breaking Vesely in the first game of the match.  Unfortunately, his apparent control was an illusion.  As Vesely quickly got over his jitters, Mannarino became overwhelmed by his.  He was passive and allowed Vesely to dictate play, instead on using his “best” shot, Mannarino hung out behind the baseline the entire match, coming to the net only when he was forced to do so by his opponent.

Once Vesely overcame his initial nervous start, he found the rhythm and pace on his serve and groundstrokes.  Mannarino did make some amazing returns, but was unable to back those up once the rally was engaged.  He made too many errors (forced and unforced); double faults and poor execution of his drop shots all contributed to his losing the match.  However, the real cause was Mannarino’s inability to control his nerves; he was the more mentally fragile.  Vesely took the victory 6-3, 6-2 and Mannarino will need to be consoled.

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