ADELAIDE (AFP) – Flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils claimed the 11th title of his career and his first in almost two years when he beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov at the Adelaide International yesterday.
Monfils broke Khachanov once in each set to take the title 6-4, 6-4.
The 35-year-old Monfils has admitted he has struggled for motivation during the pandemic because he does not enjoy playing in empty stadiums.
As a result his ranking has dropped from inside the top 10 to its current position of 21.
But playing in front of a large crowd who had poured in to see local favourite Ashleigh Barty win the women’s title, Monfils lifted and had the edge on his Russian opponent.
Both men had no trouble holding serve throughout the match.
But at 4-5 in both sets, Khachanov seemed to let his nerves get the better of him and he dropped serve each time to hand the match to Monfils.
The two men will remain in Adelaide for next week’s second ATP tournament, where Monfils is top seed once again.