Widely regarded as a solid performer on the ATP World Tour, Nicolas Mahut found his career in jeopardy in 2012. The Frenchman, best known for his epic match against John Isner in the second round of Wimbledon in 2010, was struggling with an injury that kept him off the tour for several months.
When he did return, his ranking was well in the triple digits. After a second-round loss at Queen’s Club, he entered the qualifying draw in 's-Hertogenbosch. He reached the main draw with the loss of one set in his final qualifying match.
Surprisingly, that would be the last set Mahut would lose on his way to the final, his first since 2007. The tournament was plagued by upsets as six of the top eight seeds fell in the first round.
One of the seeds that did survive was Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss, whose best surfaces were clay and hard courts, found his footing on the grass. He also reached the title match without the loss of a set, dispatching the only other seed to make it past the first round, Jeremy Chardy, in the quarterfinals.
After the first two games, it looked like Mother Nature was going to have a hand in determining in the first matchup between Mahut and Wawrinka on the ATP Tour. They were forced off the court twice in the first set thanks to rain. When they returned to the court, it was all Mahut as the Frenchman secured a break at 3-4, consolidated and clinched the first set 6-3.
In the second set, Mahut kept up the pressure on Wawrinka. He broke Wawrinka’s serve early, and that proved to be all the advantage he needed. Mahut, who served phenomenally all week, was able to hold throughout the second set. At 5-4, 40-15, he delivered a strike up the middle to Wawrinka’s backhand, which floated long, giving Mahut his first career singles title.
On his way to the title, Mahut lost 33 games over five main draw matches. He lost 70 in the fifth set of his epic 2010 match against Isner.
At No. 240 in the world entering the tournament, Mahut became the lowest-ranked player to win an ATP event in five years.
This loss dropped Wawrinka’s record in final matches to 4-9. After this loss, he won his next 11 finals.
This was the first grass-court final of Wawrinka’s career (and Mahut's third). At this point, it remains the only time he’s reached a championship match on grass.