Gael Monfils downs Marcos Giron, cruises into Sofia final

The Frenchman survived a difficult first set before easing his way past the American in the second to win the match in straight sets.

Gael Monfils in a file photo. (Credit: [email protected])

Second seed Gael Monfils overcame the challenges posed by American Marcos Giron quite easily on Saturday to reach the Sofia Open final. He won the match 7-5, 6-0 in the end. The Frenchman struck his groundstrokes with great power as he started to find his range with every passing minute in the match. The World No. 20 incredibly rallied from 2-4 down in the first set before winning 11 of the next 12 games to advance after 65 minutes. As a result of the win, it is the 17th straight year Monfils has reached a tour-level final. His most recent title match was in Rotterdam in February of last year, when he defeated Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime for his tenth tour-level title.

“It was a great match,” Monfils said in his on-court interview. “At the beginning Marcos was playing very solid. I could not find the exit door and at the end I found it. I am very happy as I was very solid. It was a very physical match with lots of long rallies. To get through I am very happy.”

Monfils stages stunning comeback

The 35-year-old, who reached the semi-finals on home soil in Metz last week, will face either Italian Jannik Sinner or fifth-seeded Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the final. In an action-packed first set, Giron started well as he found consistency in his game well. However, from 4-2 ahead, Monfils staged a terrific comeback, as he used a greater variety of shots to dictate the match.

The World No. 20 then clinched five of the last six games in the opening set to lead the match. He continued this incredible form into the second set, winning it without losing a single game.

“I felt in his rhythm he was crushing the ball, so I wanted to change the speed a little and come to the net a little bit and step in,” Monfils added. “Just mix it up a little bit and I think that was key for me.”

Jannik Sinner overcomes James Duckworth in Sofia

Defending champion Jannik Sinner defeated James Duckworth at the Sofia Open in a hard-fought clash on Friday. He won the match 7-6, 6-4 to reach the semifinals. The top seed in Sofia brilliantly recovered from a 2-5 deficit in the first set and 2-4 down in the second to advance through in straight sets.

“It’s not easy coming back every time, you would prefer to stay up. Especially in a match like this,” Sinner said. “I just tried to stay focused, try to make him think a little bit. In the first set it worked, when he was serving for the set he made a couple of unforced errors. I just tried to stay solid and in the second set when I was 2-4 down I tried to hit a little bit faster and strong, especially in the last game.”

“It feels very good to be honest,” Sinner added. “Today was a very tough match. I lost the last one against him in Toronto and he was in a very positive situation, winning a Challenger, making the final last week. It was not easy for me and it was a very close match, especially the first set.”

Sinner continues his push to reach the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held on home soil from 14-21 November. “Playing here once again in Sofia is very special for me,” Sinner said. “I am very proud of myself, knowing that tomorrow is a very tough challenge in front of me. So I will try to be ready for tomorrow.”

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