By Chris King •
Updated: 22 Oct 2023 • 18:54
Image of French tennis star Gael Monfils.
Credit: Edwin Martinez/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
FRENCH tennis veteran Gael Monfils was victorious this Sunday, October 22, in the 2023 Stockholm Open.
As a result, the 37-year-old became the oldest winner in the history of the tournament that has been renamed the BNP Paribas Nordic Open. Monfils previously lifted the title back in 2011.
In recent years, the Frenchman has been plagued by injuries but managed to secure a place in this year’s final, his first ATP Tour final in 21 months. After being ranked sixth in 2016, he has since fallen to 140th in the world rankings.
Today’s win was the 12th ATP title of his career, beating the 24-year-old Russian Pavel Kotov 4–6, 7–6 (8–6), 6–3.
Monfils looked to be in trouble in the second set when he had three break points against him in the eleventh game with the score poised at 5-5. However, he dug in and turned things around after saving the set by winning in a tiebreak.
With that reversal in his pocket, Monfils took advantage immediately in the third set to break Kotov’s serve and eventually cruised to a comfortable victory over his opponent.
Ranked 109 in the world, Kotov was making his debut in an ATP tour final. A win would have seen the Russian become the first qualifier since 2021 to take home a tournament win.
Unlike most other international sports, tennis has not suspended players from Russia and Belarus. They are allowed to compete on the tour but only when playing under a neutral flag.
Both players came into today’s contest after an enduring week. As Kotov had qualified, he was playing his seventh match of the tournament.
Monfils also appeared tired after a busy and successful week but the two players provided the watching crowd with a thrilling tennis match, as reported by sydsvenskan.se.
By beating qualifier Filip Misolic 6-4, 6-3 last Thursday 19, Gael Monfils broke Richard Gasquet’s record for most hard-court tour-level wins by a Frenchman.
It was his 356th hard-court victory and helped set up a quarter-final showdown with the tournament’s second seed and fellow countryman Adrian Mannarino.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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