Monfils Claims 8th Tour Level Title in Rotterdam 

Gael Monfils showed the tennis world he’s not just here to show off his vast array of trick shots by beating a highly in form Stan Wawrinka to win the ABN Amro Open in Rotterdam this week.

Wawrinka had beaten top seed Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals while Monfils had snapped Daniil Medvedev’s 7 match win streak, so the quality of tennis was expected to be high. However, a sluggish start from Wawrinka allowed Monfils to get ahead in the first set, who claimed a service break in the 3rd game. Wawrinka was unable to break Monfils’s defence and struggled to hit his trademark winners past his opponent, who showed outstanding court coverage throughout the first set. But the second set was a totally different story, with Monfils retreating too far behind the baseline and losing sight of his game plan. This allowed Wawrinka to dominate the set, which he won for the loss of just a single game. However, the Swiss was unable to carry this momentum into the third set and was broken at 1-1. A rejuvenated Monfils delivered the killer blow by breaking again at 4-2, a break which he followed out by serving out the match.

Despite losing in the final, this week has been a positive one for Wawrinka, who will move up to 41 in the world, a rise of 27 places. He also played some terrific tennis and can now be considered a contender in big tournaments, something which has not been the case for a long time now. Monfils will also be delighted with his week’s work and is back in the top 30. And rightfully so, considering his exceptional talent. The Frenchman’s name can now be added to the illustrious list of winners in Rotterdam, including the likes of Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer. Fine company indeed.

Written by Emre Saridogan