Thursday, February 29, 2024

All-French finale in Montpellier


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MONTPELLIER: Fifth-seeded Gael Monfils of France fired 15 aces and overcame a second-set wobble to beat sixth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 on Saturday and reach the Open Sud de France final.
Monfils improved to 4-0 in career head-to-heads against his Finnish opponent.
He looked set for a comfortable win but dropped his serve in the second set, before bouncing back to break Nieminen twice in the deciding set.
The 27-year-old Monfils won the tournament four years ago and will aim Sunday for his fifth career title, but his first since winning indoors at Stockholm three years ago. Three of his titles were on indoor hard courts.
Monfils will play fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet after the latter defeated third seed Jerzy Janowicz 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) in one hour and 42 minutes later on Saturday.
Gasquet, the top seed, has a slight 5-4 head-to-head lead over Monfils, with the two local boys tied 2-2 on home soil, according to the officials ATP website.
Gasquet has not dropped a set this week at his debut tournament with new coach Sergi Bruguera. (AFP)


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