Monfils ends title drought with Citi Open win

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Gael Monfils of France gestures after winning a point against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia in the men’s singles final of the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center – Reuters

REUTERS: Gael Monfils ended a 2 1/2-year title drought by overcoming Ivo Karlovic 5-7 7-6(6) 6-4 in the final of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C on Sunday.

The win was Monfils’ first victory since February 2014 in Montpellier, France, and came at a place where two of the players he looked up to – Yannick Noah and Arthur Ashe – had won before him. “I grew up with those names,” Monfils told reporters. “Definitely to have my name next to them, it’s priceless. It meant a lot for me. I’m very happy, very proud.”

Karlovic, a winner last week at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, came close to becoming the oldest man to win back-to-back ATP singles tournaments since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1973. Karlovic was serving for the match while leading 5-4 in the second set but Monfils broke and prevailed in the tie-break. The break was the first time Karlovic failed to hold serve on 54 occasions in the tournament. “I was serving for the match. If it was normal match, I would win it right there,” Karlovic said. “My service stopped at that moment. It happens, I guess. I’m not used to that. But it happens.

“I was going to win, and then I lost my serve. That is tennis.” Monfils added another service break early in the third set to take the momentum and pushed on for the win.