French tennis veteran Arnaud Clement has captured his second title of the year by defeating 19-year-old Andy Murray of Scotland, 7-6, 6-2, to win the Legg Mason Classic in Washington. Clement picked up his first career win outside of France.
The 28-year-old Clement was seeded 11th and ranked 57th in the world coming into the final Sunday. He entered the tournament with a mediocre 12-14 record this year. But in Washington, he won all five of his matches without losing a set.
Still, Clement says he got off to a slow start.
"I was nervous because it was the final," he said. "And I did not feel my rhythm of serve. It was a tough, tough start for me. I was very tight in the beginning and on the two or last three games also."
Murray was seeded eighth and played his first tournament under new coach Brad Gilbert. But he quickly fell apart after losing the first set tiebreak and was broken in his first two service games in the second set to fall well behind.
"He raised his game once he got back into the match. And my level dropped a bit," he said. "I served badly in the tiebreak. I definitely had my chances. I probably should have won the first set. But I obviously did not start the second set too well going four-love (4-0) down. And he definitely deserved to win."
The hardcourt event is one of several leading to the U.S. Open. The final Grand Slam tennis event of the year starts August 28 in New York.