ROTTERDAM, February 17, 2019
French showman Gael Monfils claimed the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam with a three-set win against former champion Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland on Sunday. It was the first final at the Ahoy Arena between two unseeded players since Michael Llodra beat Robin Soderling in 2008.
Monfils, who finished runner-up here in 2016, broke his opponent serve four times, winning 51 per cent of the total points played to secure a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 victory in one hour and 44 minutes.
Rotterdam, completed it mate ✅
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 17. Februar 2019
By lifting his second ATP Tour 500 trophy, his eighth overall, Monfils earns €406,030 in prize money as well as 500 ATP-Ranking points.
“We have been practising all winter together, and really for the past 14 years too,” said Monfils, who last lifted an ATP Tour title in January 2018 at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha and is now 8-21 lifetime in championship matches.
“In these matches, it’s tricky to surprise the other. I was a bit tougher than him in the third set and changed the rhytmn, as I felt he was playing heavy in the second set and I felt like I couldn’t handle it. I had to break his momentum. I had to be more aggressive and sneak in some serve and volley tennis.
“In the second set, I felt like I was pushing back physically and not striking cleanly. I was stressed and angry, but I had to think about it and in the third game of the decider, I took my chance and gained energy.”
Chardy/Kontinen win maiden title
Earlier in the day, Frenchman Jeremy Chardy and Henri Kontinen from Finland took the doubles crown. They beat Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania 7-6(5), 7-6(4) after one hour and 40 minutes.
“[Partnering with Jeremy] was pretty last minute,” said Kontinen. “A few days before [the tournament], I was just glad he said yes to my text message and here we are.”
Chardy added: “It was a lot of fun. Henri is my friend. To win with him means a lot to me. We played really good and he taught me a lot during the week, so it was really good to play with him.”