ATP Tour Official Tournament

Monfils rolls back time - reaches the final

21 October 2023 By BNP Paribas Nordic Open
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Gaël Monfils booked his seat for the finals in Stockholm for a second time, after winning his first in 2011. The ATP tour veteran defeated Serb Laslo Djere 7-5, 6-2. Monfils, a former World No.6, has now reached an ATP Tour level final for 19 consecutive seasons. On Sunday’s final, he will face the surprising qualifier Pavel Kotov who defeated the in-form Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in the first semifinal of the day.

It was a full house at The Royal Tennis Hall as Gaël Monfils and Laslo Djere stepped on Centre Court. With no empty seats in sight, the crowd settled down to watch former champion and showman Gaël Monfils battle the talented Laslo Djere in their first tour-level meeting.

Monfils started the first set with surgical precision and a powerful service game, quickly breaking his opponent twice, securing a 4-0 lead in only 11 minutes with 15 straight points. Serbian World No.35 knew he would need to act fast if he wanted to stay in the match. Djere's strategy to lengthen the points paid off as he was able to break Monfils and reach 4-3. From then on, the match turned into a mouthwatering contest for the spectators. Monfils hit a backhand down the line to restore momentum and go up 5-3 to make Djere serve to stay in the first set. Despite losing his serve at his first attempt, Monfils did not falter this time around and closed the set 7-5.

In the second set, the Frenchman was the first to break, however quickly found himself facing break points on his own service game. Replicating his first set magic, Monfils took off to another roaring start with another 4-0 lead. As Djere appeared to be struggling from fatigue, Monfils maintained his focus to race to a 7-5 6-2 victory.

In Sunday’s final, Gaël Monfils will face Pavel Kotov who has been having the tournament of his life. Having defeated Christopher Eubanks, Tallon Griekspoor and Lorenzo Sonego en route to the final, the young qualifier is showing promise to record his first ATP Tour level win ever. Sunday proves to be a great match-up between experience and youth.