Monfils To Face Kotov For Stockholm Crown

Gael Monfils (photo: Brigitte Urban)


Gael Monfils has made a triumphant return to a final on the ATP Tour after a 21-month hiatus.

The Frenchman sailed past Laslo Djere of Serbia 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday, securing a spot in the championship match at the BNP Paribas Nordic Open. Monfils, despite losing an early 4-0 lead in Stockholm, maintained his composure and dominated, winning eight of the final 10 games from 5-5 in the first set. He is set to face Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov in the final on Sunday.

Monfils capitalized on five of his seven break points he earned and served nine aces to overcome Djere in their first-ever encounter. Remarkably, at 37 years old, he has become the oldest finalist in the history of the Stockholm tournament. Monfils will be vying for his 12th ATP Tour career title, facing Kotov for the first time at the tour level.

Kotov continued his impressive run, securing his sixth victory this week. He defeated Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-4 in a commanding fashion. Ranked World No. 109, Kotov hit 25 winners compared to his opponent’s 17. This win followed his career-best quarterfinal victory against the third seed, Tallon Griekspoor, confirming his strong form in the tournament.

I’m extremely happy and super tired,” said Kotov. “It was my dream to play a final and now it is 2023 and it’s my first one. It’s a super end to the season for me.”