Gael Monfils won his second title in the space of seven days yesterday as he swatted aside Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2 6-4 in a lopsided Rotterdam Open final to retain the trophy.
The 33-year-old Frenchman, who came into the tournament on the back of a record-equalling third triumph in Montpellier the previous Sunday, converted four out of 11 break points as he denied his 19-year-old opponent a maiden ATP title.
“You’re young, you’ll improve fast and you’ll win this tournament and other tournaments, so keep going,” Monfils told Auger-Aliassime.
“I’m super happy... it’s been an amazing week for me.”
It was a 10th career title for world number nine Monfils, who improved his win-loss record in the tournament to 14-1 with his only defeat coming to Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in the final four years ago.
It was a disappointing day for Auger-Aliassime, who had made history by becoming the youngest finalist in the event, dropping only one set en route to the title clash.
He made 12 unforced forehand errors as Monfils broke early to race to a 4-2 lead before easing through the opening set.
Monfils overcame a minor blip when he was broken while ahead 5-2 in the second, but Auger-Aliassime was unable to stage a late comeback and force a decider as the Frenchman held firm to seal the contest on his fifth championship point.
Bertens downs Rybakina
Kiki Bertens powered past Kazakh Elena Rybakina 6-1 6-3 in the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy final yesterday to successfully defend her crown.
The world number eight from the Netherlands converted four out of eight breakpoints and saved all five on her serve to seal a 10th WTA singles title in 74 minutes.
Bertens improved her head-to-head record over the Russian-born Rybakina to 2-0, having beaten the world number 25 in the Rosmalen grasscourt tournament semi-finals last year. After easing through the opening set by winning six straight games, Bertens had to stave off a spirited Rybakina early in the second, saving four break points in the first game.
She broke for a decisive 3-1 lead and dropped only two more games to clinch victory in style. The Dutchwoman was scheduled to take on 36-year-old former world number one Kim Clijsters in the opening round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday, but pulled out of the tournament after reaching the final in St Petersburg.
Clijsters, making a return to professional Tennis for the first time in seven years, will play Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza instead, organisers said in a statement.
Elina Svitolina, Dubai champion in 2017 and 2018, will now face a qualifier or lucky loser instead of Muguruza.
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