ATP s-Hertogenbosch: Nicolas Mahut successfully defends title
Nicolas Mahut with the Ricoh Open trophy after winning for the third time (Photo: Ricoh Open)

Finals day at the Ricoh Open saw Nicolas Mahut and Gilles Muller face off against one another in a match carried over from Sunday. The Frenchman prevailed 6-4, 6-4 and became a three-time champion in the Netherlands. It was his 18th win in 20 matches on the Autotron Rosmalen lawns.

Number of breaks determine set

Nico Mahut and Gilles Muller both got off to a good start by holding their opening service games. Having held for 1-2, Muller then came out the blocks and pushed the Frenchman to advantage to get the first break point of the set. The 33-year-old converted and went 1-3 up on the defending champion. The lead wouldn't last long as Mahut stopped any momentum that was building and immediately broke back, which was followed by a hold of serve having saved a break point at 30-40.

The momentum shifted in favour of the number eight seed and once again, Mahut would convert his second break point of the game. The Frenchman held convincingly to go 5-3 up. At 5-4, prior to a heavy downpour, Mahut saved two breaks before going on to serve it out for a 6-4 lead in a 41-minute set. As expected, the players headed for the locker room and after a couple hours of waiting, play was suspended for the next day. 

Lone break goes the way of Mahut

At 10:25am on Monday, the players came out and resumed their match in overcast conditions. Nico Mahut had a set lead heading into the second. Both started the set by holding their serves quite comfortably. At 2-1, the world number 61 pushed Muller to 30-40 before converting. Mahut held and the momentum in this set was the veteran Frenchman.

Gilles Muller plays a shot back to Mahut (Photo: Ricoh Open)
Gilles Muller plays a shot back to Mahut (Photo: Ricoh Open)

For the remainder of the set, there was nothing to separate the players. At 3-2, Mahut was stopped from taking the game being frustrated by Muller. However, he would eventually hold and go 4-2 up as the crown looked set to stay with the newly crowned number one doubles player. From then on in both players continued to hold serve with ease and at 5-4, the 34-year-old served it out at 40-30 and successfully defended his title having won it the previous year as a qualifier. 

Match Stats

Gilles Muller was impressive on serve having hit nine aces, while Mahut wasn't far behind serving seven of his own. Both only had one double fault in the match. Nicolas Mahut won 72 percent of points while Muller won only 66 percent. The second serve dropped considerably for both with the Frenchman winning 53 percent and the Luxembourg 42 percent.

Mahut was the busier of the two having to save three from four break points and managed to convert all three of his. Gilles Muller saved no break points and only managed to convert one from four. The world number 61 won 55 percent of total points with the 33-year-old winning 45 percent. 

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