Gael Monfils edges out Stan Wawrinka to win maiden Rotterdam Open title
Monfils wins eighth ATP World Tour title of his career, Marco Cecchinato reigns in Buenos Aries and Reilly Opelka claims first ATP title
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 18/02/19 9:04am
French showman Gael Monfils claimed the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam with a three-set win against former champion Stan Wawrinka on Sunday.
Monfils sealed a 6-3 1-6 6-2 victory over 2015 winner Wawrinka to collect the eighth title of his career, which will help move him up 10 spots to world No 23 when the ATP rankings are updated on Monday.
The 32-year-old raced past his Swiss opponent to convert two break points on his way to sealing the opening set in 36 minutes before three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka, who was playing his first final since undergoing two knee surgeries in 2017, fought back to clinch the second set.
But Wawrinka struggled to keep up with Monfils in the longer rallies during the decider and despite winning his opening game to love, he was broken by Monfils in the third game, while the Frenchman also maintained his service rhythm to dictate play.
Monfils, the 2016 runner-up, converted another break-point to go 5-2 ahead before serving out the match.
Sunday's match was the first Rotterdam Open final between two unseeded players since Michael Llodra beat Robin Soderling in 2008.
In Buenos Aires, Marco Cecchinato of Italy secured the third ATP title of his career by causing a huge upset against home favourite Diego Schwartzman in the final of the Argentina Open.
World No 18 Cecchinato added to his titles in Budapest and Umag by silencing the crowd as he eased to a 6-1 6-2 victory against Schwartzman.
At the New York Open Reilly Opelka hammered 43 aces on the way to winning a first ATP Tour title with a 6-1 6-7 (9-7) 7-6 (9-7) victory over Canadian Brayden Schnur.
Opelka easily won the opening set against Schnur who took the second by saving two championship points in a tie-break and claiming the set when Opelka double faulted.
The 21-year-old American paved the way for the victory by successfully challenging what Schnur thought was an ace at 7-7 in the final tie-break.
Schnur's shot was shown to be just out, so instead of having championship point the Canadian had a second serve, which he netted.
Opelka then slammed in his 43rd ace of the match for the title, matching the number he had in his semi-final victory over top seed John Isner in their semi-final on Saturday.
"This is definitely what I'm most proud of," said Opelka.
"I was tough mentally, especially losing a lot of first sets this week, and my first serve really helped me out. I was able to play clutch in those big moments.
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