Jurgen Melzer capped off a solid week of play in Winston-Salem by winning the Championship after Gael Monfils retired in the second set.
Much like his semifinal match against Sam Querrey, Melzer came out of the gate sharp from the baseline and set up solid opportunities at the net.
He quickly broke Monfils serve to go to 2-0. His crisp play continued moving the Frenchman back and forth from the baseline. And like most of the tournament, Melzer served well, dictating play off of his racket and took the first set in a workmanlike manner, 6-3.
In the second set, Monfils bent over in pain after a serve. That was the first sign on Saturday that the recurring injury in the vicinity of his hip and abdominal area, had reared it's ugly head. Immediately the velocity of his serve diminished and he was broken at 2-1. After treatment by the ATP trainer, Monfils could not continue. "I started to feel it yesterday," said Monfils. "I had a sharp pain. After about 50 minutes, I tried to serve at full speed, and that was it. I felt like something snapped a little bit and it was really painful. It was tough to continue. I will try to get an x-ray tonight and see what's going on."
It ended a solid week of tennis by Monfils who showed signs of play that many became accustomed to when he was in the top 10 back in 2011.
The title gave Melzer his 5th career Championship, and he put the match into perspective afterwards, "I was trying to be aggressive and go to the net as much as I could. The game before he retired he was serving really slowly and I missed a lot of returns because I knew if I broke him it could be the end and you get a little tight. Nobody wants to win a final like that, you want to be out there competing, but at the end of the day you take the title."
Melzer was extremely solid during the tournament. It broke a two tournament streak on the hard courts where he was eliminated in the first round. After a nice run at Wimbledon, the Austrian dealt with a shoulder injury that slowed him down.
With the victory, the 32 year old will climb to 27th in the World and go into the U.S. Open playing good tennis on the hard courts. He will meet Evgeny Donskoy in the first round.
Meanwhile, Monfils will hope for a quick recovery with the Open starting on Monday.