Albert Montanes claims Nice Open title with victory over Gael Monfils
Albert Montanes claimed his sixth ATP title with a 6-0 7-6 victory over Gael Monfils in the final of the Nice Open.
Last Updated: 25/05/13 8:59pm
Frenchman Monfils was blown away in the first set, but finally held serve in the second game of the second and made a fight of it to give the home fans something to cheer.
The pair swapped breaks but in the eventual tie-break Spaniard Montanes - ranked 82nd in the world - prevailed 7-3 to seal victory in 73 minutes.
It was Montanes' first title in nearly three years after his triumph on the clay of Stuttgart in 2010, when he also beat Monfils in the final.
"I knew I could defeat Gael and today I was very solid the entire match, hitting very deep and playing well in the crucial points," said Montanes.
Monfils, a French Open semi-finalist in 2008, has been awarded a wildcard this year after slipping out of the top 100 in the rankings because of an injury lay-off.
He faces fifth seed Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in the first round at Roland Garros next week, while Montanes has been drawn against a qualifier.
Monfils said: "I tried my best today, but I faced a better player than me and I want to congratulate him for his title," said Monfils. "I tried different things, but it didn't work. He was just better than me. I played a lot of matches in the past two weeks and I felt maybe a bit tired physically and mentally."