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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Argentine Juan Monaco battled for more than three hours to defeat Frenchman Julien Benneteau 7-5 4-6 6-3 in the Malaysian Open final on Sunday for his fourth ATP title of the year.
Monaco, ranked 11th in the world, kept alive his hopes of qualifying for November's season-ending World Tour finals in London as one of the top eight ranked players.
"I celebrated with my team in the locker room and tonight I'll have Malaysian food with my team," Monaco told reporters after his seventh ATP title.
"I think we played a great match, with a lot of ups and downs. I got a little nervous when I had chances, but I never gave up.
"He surprised me a little bit with his comeback in the second set. In the final set, I knew I had to be more aggressive and I am happy the way I finished the match."
Benneteau, 30, ranked 34th in the world, lost his seventh career final and will continue his quest for his first ATP title.
"I was very focused on this game, because I wanted to win this final," Benneteau said.
"The fans were great, there were a lot of French in the crowd. It was a nice atmosphere and the game was a good level." (Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John Mehaffey)