Tennis

Monfils wins Montpellier title

2010-10-31 22:23
Gael Monfils (AP)

Montpellier - France's Gael Monfils won his third career title on Sunday, beating Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 in the final of the inaugural Montpellier ATP tournament.

It was third time lucky for the world number 15, who had to pull out of the Stuttgart final earlier this year and was beaten in Tokyo.

"It's a wonderful experience for me here, but we're all thinking about the Davis Cup, so I'm hoping to see you all in Belgrade," said Monfils, in reference to France's Davis Cup final against Serbia on December 3-5.

He adds to his previous titles in Sopot (2005) and Metz (2009).

Monfils has often been accused of lacking concentration at key moments of his career but he showed true grit and determination on his way to the final in an all-French semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Saturday.

Ljubicic said after his semi-final win on Saturday that he still felt fresh, mainly because he needed only two sets to dispose of Spain's Albert Montanes 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

The Croat, however, looked anything but sprightly as an inspired Monfils used a combination of aggression and precision to race to a commanding first set win.

Ljubicic lifted his game to pull level in a closer second set, however that gave the 31-year-old only brief hope before he was totally outclassed in a decider in which his normally formidable serve failed to show.

"I didn't win many points on my service game," admitted Ljubicic, who was quick to pay tribute to the "consistency" of his French opponent.

"But I kind of expected that because Gael has a very strong return of serve."

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