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Monfils reaches ATP Tour final for 17th straight year, plays Sinner for Sofia title

The veteran Frenchman will have the chance to avenge his US Open defeat by the Italian

Gael Monfils and Jannik Sinner US Open 2021 SAI / Reuters / Panoramic

The great thing about the tennis tour is when you’re looking for the chance to avenge a painful defeat, the chance often comes around quickly.

That will be the case in the final in Sofia on Sunday when Gael Monfils plays Jannik Sinner, the young Italian who edged him out in a five-set thriller in the third round at the US Open just last month.

Frenchman Monfils, at 35 now a veteran of the Tour, plays 20-year-old Sinner, having beaten Marc Giron of the United States 7-5, 6-0 in the semi-finals. Defending Sofia champion Sinner beat Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 7-5 in the second semi-final.

Monfils is into his first Tour final of 2021 but remarkably, has now made at least one final every year for 17 years, a mark second only to Rafael Nadal.

11 of 12 games gets the job done for Monfils

When he trailed Giron 4-2 in the opening set, Monfils looked in trouble but he reeled off 11 of the next 12 games to advance to his first final of the year.

“It was a great match,” Monfils said on court. “Marcos was playing very solid. I could not find the exit door and at the end I found it. I am very happy as I was very solid. It was a very physical match with lots of long rallies. I am very happy to get through.”

Monfils will be bidding for his first title since Rotterdam last year while Sinner is chasing his third title of 2021, having won the warm-up event in Melbourne at the start of the year and again in Washington earlier in the summer.

Krajinovic led 5-2 in the second set against Sinner but the Italian got his game together at the right time to win the last five games for victory. He leads Monfils 2-1 in their head to head battles.

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