Gael Monfils returned to the final at the Rotterdam Open as he overhauled Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 yesterday.
The French showman left it late but gave the Ahoy Arena crowd a thrill as he broke in the penultimate game of the third set and served out the win a game later.
Victory sent the 32-year-old into the final here for the second time after reaching the title match in his last Rotterdam appearance in 2016, when he lost to Martin Klizan.
Monfils will take on either top seed Kei Nishikori or former champion Stan Wawrinka in today’s final.
Victory was quick revenge for Monfils, who lost to Medvedev a week ago in the Sofia semi-finals, an event which the Russian won. Medvedev’s defeat was only his third loss of the season, leaving his record at 14-3.
The contest featured several momentum shifts and a total of nine breaks of serve in just over two hours.
The 33rd-ranked Monfils at times looked exhausted after points, leaning on his racquet but quickly rediscovering his legs seconds later.
The Frenchman went up an early break in the final set but was hauled back by Medvedev, the fifth seed.
A flicked winner off the Monfils racquet in the ninth game brought up two break points, with the French player earning a 5-4 margin. A Medvedev backhand into the net a game later handed Monfils the win.
On Friday, Wawrinka, who was seeking his first title since undergoing two knee surgeries in 2017, subdued Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-6 (4) to set up an intriguing semi-final with top seed Nishikori.
The Swiss wildcard broke for a 5-4 lead in the opening set and sealed the win in a well-mastered tiebreak.
Nishikori took a step closer to claiming his second title of the year by defeating Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 6-2.
Isner in New York semis
Top seeded John Isner was one of three Americans to reach the semi-finals of the ATP New York Open with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Australian seventh seed Jordan Thompson on Friday.
Isner will now face compatriot Reilly Opelka, who defeated Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4.
It will be a rematch from the Australian Open, when Opelka defeated Isner in four sets.
The other semi-final will see Sam Querrey square off against Canadian Brayden Schnur.
Querrey defeated Jason Jung 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and Schnur rallied to beat Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-7 (7), 7-6 (5), 7-5 in a pair of three-set matches.
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