The two finalists offered high-class entertaining tennis in front of a rapt tennis crowd in Stockholm on Sunday evening. The young Pavel Kotov, with his explosive shotmaking, managed to break Monfils’ serve early on and was visibly brimming with confidence on the court. The 24-year-old continued to steadily apply high pressure on the Frenchman’s strokes, repeatedly pushing him onto his back foot. Monfils did manage to get one break back, but Kotov moved skillfully and aggressively to win the first set 6-4.
The second set began much more evenly with some fine exchanges. At 4-4, the momentum began to shift. Monfils took the lead, but the young qualifier held his serve and played his way through three break points. At this point, the Frenchman upped his level when most needed and managed to hold his serve by winning five straight points. Kotov responded by playing the best tennis of his career and leveled the set at 6-6. A dramatic tiebreak ensued which the Frenchman won to force a third set in front of a roaring center court crowd.
Monfils displayed much more control in the third set. Errors from Kotov’s racket built up. The Frenchman broke to race to a 2-0 lead. Monfils raised his level even further and displayed great focus and grit. He broke Kotov's serve twice to go up 5-2. Experience and knowledge in moments like these ensured the Frenchman would not faulter. With an electrifying crowd backing him, Monfils broke Kotov's serve to win his second BNP Paribas Nordic Open 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3.
During the trophy ceremony he thanked his three leading ladies - his mother, his wife and his baby daughter. “I am very happy to win here again, also for my coach Mikael Tillström.”, said Gaël Monfils, after his win.