Frenchman Gael “Force” Monfils kicked off his summer hardcourt season with his first title in Washington. And he did it the hard way.
The No. 2-seeded Monfils came from a set down in the final to defeat No. 13-seeded “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-4 saving a match point.
“It’s a real pleasure for me,” said Monfils, who won his first title in two years. “When I first came, I saw big names like Arthur Ashe and Yannick Noah and I said ‘I want to have my name next to them’. They have been big inspirations for me. Every time I come here, the crowd has been really great to me and amazing.”
Karlovic was attempting to become the oldest player to win an ATP singles titles in successive weeks since Ken Rosewall in Osaka and Tokyo in October 1973 after winning Newport last week.
“My serve stopped [when serving for the match],” said Karlovic who had won his last eight matches. “It happens I guess. I’m not used to that. I was going to win and I lost my serve. That is tennis. Of course, every match you have a little bit of pressure. I’ve dealt with that in many matches and usually I’m able to get over it. Today I couldn’t. But it was a great week.”
Monfils improved his poor record in finals to 6-19. It was also his first career ATP 500 level title and is first outside of Europe. Monfils became the first man from France to win Washington since Arnaud Clement beat Andy Murray in 2006.
In the women’s event, Yanina Wickmayer won both the singles and the doubles. The Belgian defeated Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-2 for his fifth career WTA title.
On Saturday, she teamed with Monica Niculescu to defeat the all-Japanese pair of Shuko Aoyama Risa Ozaki 6-4, 6-3 for the doubles title.
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