Gael Monfils was stopped by Albert Montanes in the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur 2013 final match.
The French wild card holder’s fine run of form in Nice this week ended with today’s final match against 32-year-old Spaniard Montanes who prevailed after seventy-free minutes of play. He lifted his sixth ATP trophy and is now leading the head-to-head score 4-1.
The opening set was a one-man Montanes show – the 82nd-ranked Spaniard had an answer to everything Monfils threw his way, whilst he was also extremely efficient with converting the break points. He tucked away all three of them which allowed him to bagel out his opponent in the first set after twenty-nine minutes. Montanes won 71% of the return points in that part of the game.
Former world no. 7 Monfils finally got on the board by holding a serve in the second game of the set number two, yet he was trailing behind again at 3-1. He managed to settle into the match after that and eventually confirmed his seventh-game break to level the score at 4-4. As there were no more upsets in the rest of the games, the players would try their skills as well as their luck in a tie-break. In the thirteenth game Montanes jumped two mini-breaks ahead by 5-1 and was soon in possession of a triple championship point at 6-3 – the first one did the trick for the unseeded Spaniard who thus capped off his excellent week at the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur 2013 with a 6-0, 7-6 (3) final victory.
“I was in my home town, 200km from Barcelona, with friends when I found out I was entering the main draw last Saturday night. So it’s pretty incredible that I am here now with the Nice trophy,” Montanes explained after the clash. “No doubt the fact that I came here with no pressure, just happy to play, taking it day-by-day and match-by-match, helped me win this week.”