tattoo watch: juan monaco’s left foot

Fernando Gonzalez won the Movistar Open title in Vina del Mar, Chile, after fellow finalist Juan Monaco withdrew from the tournament with an ankle injury.

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Monaco sustained the second-degree sprain in the second set of the doubles final. He hit his foot against a referee chair while running down a ball. The subsequent on-court treatment finally revealed the tattoo we’d been looking for.

A gracious winner: This bittersweet victory for Gonzalez is the first ATP singles final walkover since 2003. “I’m happy to have won this tournament once again but a little sad for Juan, who wasn’t able to play the final,” Gonzalez told reporters at his post-match conference. “He is a great player and even better person. It’s tough for him not to be able to play (Sunday’s) final and probably miss the Davis Cup next week. We are good friends and I hope he recovers fast from this injury.”

Career hiccup: And of course Monaco was devastated: “It’s very unfortunate that this happened to me in such a good moment of my career. I’m sad that I won’t be able to play the final here in Vina del Mar and the Davis Cup tie against Great Britain next week. I’m hoping to make a comeback at Buenos Aires.”

The Copa Telmex, to be held in Buenos Aires starting on February 18, is the first of three titles that Monaco will be defending in 2008. His 28 clay victories last year was second only to the 31 of Rafael Nadal.

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