Title numero deux for Monfils in Metz
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:45
Gael Monfils ended a four-year title drought and claimed his first ATP victory on home soil with a 7-6(1) 3-6 6-2 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Open de Moselle final.
The top-seeded Frenchman served 14 aces and broke the German twice in the third set before closing out the match in just over two hours, claiming his second victory against Kohlschrieber of his career.
Monfils, who reached the fourth round at this year’s U.S. Open, won his second career title since his victory in Sopot, Poland, in 2005.
Monfils has struggled with Osgood Schlatter’s disease – “growing pains” in his knees – for years, but became the third Frenchman to land an ATP title this season, joining Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jeremy Chardy.
But he did not have it all his own way. Kohlschreiber, who is likely to meet Monfils again when France plays Germany next year in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group, saved three set points in the first set to force a tiebreaker.
And although Monfils ran away with the breaker in double time, Kohlschreiber broke the home favourite in game six of the second set and leveled the match with an ace.
Monfils was back in control in the decisive set, taking his opponent’s serve with a forehand winner in game six. The German then collapsed, dropping serve again two games later to hand Monfils victory, and his second title from eight final appearances.
“For a long time people spoke about my lost finals,” Monfils said. “But now the curse is over. I’m happy with this victory. I managed to win, and on top of that it was in France.”
The world No.13 added that he wouldn’t be satisfied “until I win the French Open, which is my ultimate goal.”