OPEN DE NICE CÔTE D'AZUR
Monfils Keeps Winning; Faces Montanes For Title
by ATP Staff|
French wild card Gael Monfils is set to be an early threat to Tomas Berdych at Roland Garros. The Paris native is riding a nine-match winning streak and will face Albert Montanes in the final of the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur on Saturday.
Monfils defeated Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-4 on Friday at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament to reach his 18th final. The 26-year-old came into Nice on the back of victory at the Bordeaux Challenger, where he beat countryman Michael Llodra in the final.
Monfils recorded his third victory in three meetings with Andujar as he broke serve four times and won 72 per cent of points on his first serve. The right-hander was also a semi-finalist at the Heineken Open in Auckland earlier in the year and has a 15-10 season record.
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Monfils is bidding to win his fifth ATP World Tour title and first since lifting the trophy at the If Stockholm Open two years ago (d. Nieminen). However, he will need to overturn a 1-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Montanes, who defeated the Frenchman last month at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
World No. 82 Albert Montanes is through to his first ATP World Tour final in nearly two years after defeating Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. The 32-year-old Montanes last reached a final at the bet-at-home Cup Kitzbühel in July 2011, when he finished runner-up (l. to Haase). He has a 5-5 finals record, with all of his victories coming on clay.
Montanes avenged the defeat he suffered to Roger-Vasselin last month in Casablanca as he saved 15 of 16 break points and fired 11 aces, claiming victory in one hour and 53 minutes. Coming into Nice, he had won back-to-back tour-level matches just once this season, reaching the quarter-finals at the Brasil Open 2013 in Sao Paulo (l. to Bolelli).
Colombians Reach Doubles Final
Roger-Vasselin was denied for the second time Friday as he and Nicolas Mahut were beaten in the doubles semi-finals by Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. The Colombian duo held their nerve in the Match Tie-break to win 6-3, 1-6, 10-6 in 63 minutes. They are through to their first ATP World Tour final together and will face Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klaasen.