Adrian Mannarino became the fifth Frenchman to reach the Winston Salem Open final and now hopes to become the first to win the tournament in what is his first final appearance in a title round since 2020. Should he win the second title of his career, he would, at 34-years of age, become the oldest champion in the event’s history.
He was serving well, putting a lot of pressure and I was able to keep my nerve and serve well in the key moments. I'm really happy with that Adrian Mannarino
“I’m old!” he joked in his on-court interview. “My body is not responding as well as when I was 20, but obviously I’m still up and running well.”
Mannarino dominated the second-seeded Botic Van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands 6-0 6-4 after fending off a late charge from the Dutchman in set two.
“I think Botic didn’t start the match so well but then in the second set it was really tight,” said Mannarino, who did not face a break point. “He was serving well, putting a lot of pressure and I was able to keep my nerve and serve well in the key moments. I’m really happy with that.”
Mannarino has lost his serve once in the last four matches after losing it twice in his opening round when he saved four match points and, in his run to the final, has now ousted four seeded players.
“I think that was a really consistent match,” Mannarino said following his 75-minute victory. “I was serving well and I was not making mistakes. I was making him work a lot for each game. … From the beginning until the end I didn’t drop my concentration.”
Mannarino faces Laslo Djere in the final who needed nine match points to dispatch the Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler and seal a 7-6(3) 7-6(5) victory after two-hours and 17-minutes.
Djere, who saved two match points to edge another veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet out in the quarter finals, has won five of the six tie-breaks he has played this week.
The 27-year-old is chasing his third tour-level title in his first final of the season which would be his first on a hardcourt.