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Snakes n_Ñé Ladders: Monaco cracks top 10

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Originally published on: 23/07/12 00:00

The 28-year-old Argentine defeated Tommy Haas 7-5 6-4 to win his first ATP 500 event, his third title of 2012 and the sixth clay court title of his career, but it was his new ranking that pleased him most.

“It’s a dream come true [to break the Top 10],” said Monaco, who climbed four spots to bump John Isner out of tenth place. “I will always remember this great week because it’s very important for me and my team. It was a big goal we had pre-season when we were practising very hard.”

Monaco has now won 31 of his 41 matches this year, adding the Hamburg title to his triumphs on the clay of Houston and Vina del Mar. Before this season, the Tandil-native had not won a title in five years, but has now matched his 2007 effort of winning three-titles in a season – in Kitzbuhel, Poertschach and Buenos Aires.

Now back in London to prepare for the Olympic Games, Monaco anticipates that it won’t be a straightforward task to adapt to the grass, even with memories of Wimbledon still fresh.

“To change courts is not going to be easy for me, but I have five days for practice to be with the guys there,” said Monaco, who won two matches at Wimbledon this year – his first ever wins in five visits to the All England Club.

“Lets see how it goes,” he added. “This tournament will bring me big confidence and I’m feeling great, no injuries. So I will try my best in London.”

Meanwhile, Andy Roddick climbed five places to No.22 in the rankings after winning his 32nd career title in Atlanta, Thomaz Bellucci leapt 20 places to No.40 after beating Janko Tipsarevic in Gstaad, while Hamburg runner-up Tommy Haas climbs 14 places to No.35.

Dominika Cibulkova inched closer to her career-high ranking of No.12 after victory over Marion Bartoli in Carlsbad saw her return to No.13, while Slovenia’s Polona Hercog climbed 24 places to 62 after ending a run of four straight first round defeats to defend her title in Bastad.

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