Monfils wins Rotterdam title

17 February 2019 12:41:34 EST

Gael Monfils won his first ATP title in over a year after beating Stan Wawrinka in three sets to win the Rotterdam Open.

The Frenchman won through 6-3 1-6 6-2 to secure his first title on the tour since the Qatar Open in January last year.

Monfils, the world number 33, established a lead in the first set, converting a break point in Wawrinka's second service game and broke again to take the set 6-3.

When you come back from a surgery like that, you need to be patient with yourself.

Stan Wawrinka

However, the Swiss Grand Slam winner, appearing in his first final since ankle surgery in 2017, came back well in the second set, breaking in Monfil's first service game and commanding the set throughout.

The third and final set saw Monfils take command again though, establishing an early break and limiting opportunities on his own serve.

He got 80% of first serves in and another break ensured an eighth ATP title for the Frenchman who will rise up the ATP world rankings when they are next announced.

It marks a successful week for both finalists. Monfils beat David Goffin, Andreas Seppi, Damir Dzumhur and Daniil Medvedev en route to the final.

Wawrinka meanwhile will be encouraged to reach his first final since the French Open in 2017.

He beat Benoit Paire, Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov and then won through against top seed Kei Nishikori in the semi-final.

After that three-set win he spoke of how pleased he was to be making progress back to the top of the men's game.

He said: "When you come back from a surgery like that, you need to be patient with yourself.

"You look to start to win matches and gain confidence. I think my level is there physically and tennis-wise. If I stay focused and do the right things, I think I'm going to get back to a good place."

Wawrinka is 33/1 to win the French Open, the second Grand Slam of 2019 while Rafael Nadal is 10/11 with Novak Djokovic 7/4.

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