Monfils upends Gasquet for Montpellier title

 

The Sports Network

Montpellier, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Gael Monfils topped fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets to capture the Open Sud de France tournament on Sunday.

Monfils earned a 6-4, 6-4 triumph in the final to claim his fifth overall ATP title and second Montpellier crown. He also won the event in 2010, beating Ivan Ljubicic, and was the runner-up to Tomas Berdych two years ago.

"This is unbelievable for me," said Monfils. "I really enjoy playing here in Montpellier. I love the atmosphere there is in this arena."

Gasquet, this week's top seed, was trying to successfully defend the title he won last year. He fell to 10-11 all-time in finals.

Monfils has struggled in title matches throughout his career, as Sunday's win improved him to 5-16 all-time. He had lost five straight finals, including a setback to Rafael Nadal at the 2014 season-opener in Doha, since his last title -- a three-set win over Jarkko Nieminen at Stockholm in October 2011.

The fifth-seeded Monfils was coming off a three-set semifinal win over Nieminen on Saturday and on Sunday was brilliant on serve. He blasted nine aces and won 26 of his 28 first-service points.

"I have been elevating my game match after match and I am extremely proud in the way I played today," added Monfils.

Gasquet was unable to produce a break point against Monfils, who broke serve for the first time for a 4-3 lead in the first set. The only other break came in the ninth game of the second set, giving Monfils a 5-4 lead, and he went on to serve it out.

"I am extremely disappointed to have lost in the final, but that's tennis," said Gasquet. "I wasn't able to read his serve, he was serving bullets all match. My only way out was to try to push him to a tiebreak and wait for him to start making mistakes. But it didn't happen."

Monfils improved to 6-4 lifetime against Gasquet.

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