ATP Open Sud de France: Defending champion Richard Gasquet to meet compatriot Gael Monfils
Top seed and defending champion Richard Gasquet set up an all-French final against Gael Monfils in Montpellier.
Last Updated: 08/02/14 6:33pm
The world No 9 had to show all his experience to come through two closely-fought sets before dispatching Polish third seed Jerzy Janowicz 7-6 (6) 7-6 (4) in one hour and 42 minutes.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Monfils fired down 15 aces and overcame a second-set wobble to beat sixth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen 6-2 3-6 6-1.
He looked set for a comfortable win but dropped his serve in the second set, before bouncing back to break Nieminen twice in the deciding set.
The 27-year-old Monfils won the tournament four years ago and will aim for his fifth career title on Sunday, but his first since winning indoors at Stockholm three years ago.
Gasquet said: "I was having trouble returning but I managed to beat him and I'm very happy to be playing Gael in the final."
Both Gasquet and Monfils had teamed up last week to see off Australia 5-1 in the Davis Cup World Group first round tie.
"We were saying last week that we'd meet in the final here in Montpellier," recalled Gasquet.