‚ÄčTennis: Monfils triumphs in Montpellier for a second time

February 10, 2014 - 1:34:00 am

Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic (left) and India’s Sania Mirza are seen during their training sessions at Khalifa Tennis Complex in Doha yesterday. PICTURES: SALIM MATRAMKOT

MONTPELLIER, France: Gael Monfils won his second Open Sud ATP event, beating his fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets in yesterday’s final.

Monfils, who won the event in Montpellier for the first time in 2010 and was a losing finalist in 2012, overpowered the defending champion Gasquet 6-4, 6-4.

It was the fifth title of Monfils’s career.

The strong-serving 27-year-old dominated throughout. Monfils did not face a break point in the entire game, hit nine aces to zero and twice as many as winners -- 34 to 17 -- as his opponent.

The win also maintains his good start to the season, as he looks to reignite a career blighted by injury.

Monfils took the first set in 32 minutes, breaking Gasquet in the seventh game and then held his serve to go one up.

The second set followed a similar pattern to the first with Monfils breaking this time in the ninth game, having squandered three break points in the first.

Monfils, currently ranked 30th in the world from a career high of seventh, took time to thank “medical staff” for his victory.

“Basically, I did not think I was going to play in this tournament and it is strange that I have ended up the winner,” said the Parisian.

Gasquet, who hails from the town of Beziers close to Montpellier, is the current French number one and has Spain’s Sergi Bruguera as his new coach, said he could not put his opponent under any pressure.

“Obviously I am disappointed to have lost but Gael played well.”

Monfils and Gasquet, the current world number nine, have now met ten times with Monfils winning on six occasions. REUTERS

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