Gaël Monfils has successfully defended his title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The 33-year-old Frenchman held on to his champion’s crown by defeating Canadian phenom Felix Auger-Aliassime: 6-2 6-4. It is the tenth career title for Monfils.
Up until 5-1 in the second set, Monfils seemed to be cruising to another title in Rotterdam. His young opponent improved his level to get back to 5-4, but that’s when the world No.9 put the hammer down. "It was another great week for me here. Having won for a second consecutive time, it’s clear that I like to play in Rotterdam. It’s also special for me to have won two events in two weeks”, said the man who also triumphed in Montpellier last week.
The name of Gaël Monfils can now be found twice on the winner’s circle in Ahoy Rotterdam. That means he has equalled the performance of his great idol Arthur Ashe, who won in 1975 and 1976. Noteworthy as well is that Monfils has reached the final in his last three appearances in Rotterdam. He lost the final of 2016 against Martin Klizan.
For Felix Auger-Aliassime, the disappointment was clear. The youngest finalist ever of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament has now lost all four finals he has played on the ATP Tour. "I played too passive”, reflected the teenager. "Monfils lets you make mistakes and my unforced errors count kept going up. Still, I can be happy with the start of my season. The Rotterdam tournament holds a special place in my heart.”
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