Monfils rallies past Kecmanovic at Paris Masters
Gael Monfils gave the Paris faithful plenty to cheer about on Tuesday evening as he surged past Miomir Kecmanovic in three sets.
- What Happened: Two-time Paris Masters finalist Gael Monfils edged Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the second round.
- Why it matters: Monfils is hoping for a strong finish to his 2021 season.
- You will also learn: Which Frenchman Monfils will face next at Bercy.
Gael Monfils has done his share of winning at the Paris Masters over the years, with two finals to his name, and a quarter-final in his last appearance in 2019. The 35-year-old Frenchman hopes to build on that body of work this week in Paris and he began his bid to do so with a gritty 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.
“It was a beautiful match,” Monfils told reporters after the match. “I knew that he played well. I’m happy to have found the key to beat him, because at one point it was quite tense, I have to say. I had to take more risks. I managed to find some mistakes and to exploit it. So I’m very satisfied with this.”
Monfils improves to 15-9 lifetime at the Paris Masters and sets a second-round clash with Adrian Mannarino.
Not feeling perfect, but battling through
Monfils told reporters in his pre-tournament press that he has not been feeling well physically as the season winds down.
“I’m still tired, and I have had a few end-of-year physical incidents,” Monfils said. “I have had better times. But as you have said, we try to forget everything and to give it our all.”
Today it was clear that the Frenchman’s desire to perform at a high level in an electric atmosphere in Paris outweighed any fatigue he may be feeling.
The Frenchman came through a tight second set, breaking Kecmanovic in the final game, and gradually took control of the decider after saving two break points in the first game of the set.
Monfils couldn’t connect on two break points in the next game, but worked for more chances and got them with the Serb serving in the sixth game. Monfils broke for 4-2, and held for 5-2. He served out the contest at love, ripping his 54th winner of the contest, as the crowd roared its approval.
Monfils won 18 of 22 points at net across the two hour and nine-minute contest, and won 59 percent of the points that were finished in less than five shots. The Frenchman hit 14 aces and won 88 percent of his first-serve points.
The world No 22 improves to 17-17 overall in 2021.