Gael Monfils founds himself against the wall today to promising youngester Milos Raonic. The Canadian Raonic led Monfils a set and serving 4-3 before Monfils mounted his comeback to win 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Stockholm final where he will face Jarkko Nieminen.
“I had some opportunities in the first set and I didn’t make them. Maybe I got a bit nervous at the end of the tie-break,” said Monfils who keeps his distant London hopes alive. “But I kept going, which was good. I felt he was a bit tired and my game plan worked.”
Credit to Raonic who just missed three months but had a great event beating Grigor Dimitrov and then having enough game to lead Monfils. It’s a great sign for the kid that he’s winning matches again.
The lefty Nieminen also was a three set winner turning away former champion James Blake 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-2.
It was also a good week for Blake who upset Juan Martin Del Potro and earned a spot in the semifinals when David Nalbandian withdrew – contrast to a not so good week for Argentina!
In Moscow, we are guaranteed another title for Serbia this season. The final features Viktor Troicki against Janko Tipsarevic in the first ever all-Serbian final on the ATP tour.
“Janko is the player I know the best on the circuit and is playing his best tennis this year. Mentally it won’t be easy to play him,” said Troicki.
Added Janko, “Viktor is one of my closest friends outside of tennis, we know each other’s game so well.”
Troicki beat Chardy, Tipsarevic knocked out Russian Davydenko. Like Monfils, Janko still harbors some outside chances at London as well.
And the field is set for 2011 WTA Championship in Istanbul, Turkey. Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Vera Zvonareva, Sam Stosur and Agnieska Radwanska will battle for the $5 million in prize money starting on Tuesday. Who’ll win is anyone’s guess!
With the WTA ending up a full month or so before the ATP tour, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more talk from the men about the season being too long. If the women can end there circuit the last week in October, why can’t the men?
SUNDAY STOCKHOLM SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 12:45 pm
 R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) vs  M Melo (BRA) / B Soares (BRA)
Not Before 3:00 PM
 G Monfils (FRA) vs J Nieminen (FIN)
SUNDAY MOSCOW SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
 D Cibulkova (SVK) vs K Kanepi (EST) – WTA
Not Before 3:00 PM
 J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs  V Troicki (SRB) – ATP
 F Cermak (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) vs C Berlocq (ARG) / D Marrero (ESP) – ATP
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