Gael Monfils, Rotterdam 2019

In-form, in-love, focused, spectacular, former world number 6 Gael Monfils defeated Stan Wawrinka in an entertaining final 6-3 1-6 6-2. It was the first Rotterdam final between two unseeded players since 2008, when Michael Llodra defeated Robin Soderling.
Semi-finalist in Sofia last week, Monfils registered some solid wins over David Goffin and Daniil Medvedev in Rotterdam, and confirms his good start of the season with his 8th career title, his second ATP 500 after Washington in 2016.

Gaël Monfils, Rotterdam 2019

Gaël Monfils and Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

Gaël Monfils, Rotterdam 2019

It was also a good week for Wawrinka, playing in his first final since Roland Garros 2017. The Swiss, who received a wild card, defeated Paire, Raonic, Shapovalov and Nishikori en route to the final.

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

The defending champion was Roger Federer, but he chose not to participate this year. The number two seed, Karen Khachanov has been ousted in the first round by young Dutch player Tallon Griekspoor.

In doubles, Jérémy Chardy and Henri Kontinen teamed up to lift the trophy, beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 7-6 7-6.

Photo credit: ABN AMRO WTT Instagram

Read more:
Rotterdam 2019: Stan Wawrinka advances to the final
Rotterdam 2019: Tsitsipas ousted by Dzumhur
Rotterdam 2018: the title and the number one ranking for Federer

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

3-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka is back in top form: he defeated number one seed Kei Nishikori in a thrilling 3-set match to advance to the Rotterdam final. Nishikori was bidding to reach his second final of the season, following his victory in Brisbane last month.

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

Kei Nishikori, Rotterdam 2019

The Swiss had beaten his friend Benoît Paire and then Canadians Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov to reach the last 4. It will be his second Rotterdam final – he claimed the title here in 2015 defeating Tomas Berdych – his first final since his loss to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros 2017.

Denis Shapovalov, Rotterdam 2019

In the other semifinal Gael Monfils took his revenge over Daniil Medvedev, who had took the better of him in the semifinals of the Sofia Open last week. Like Wawrinka, Monfils will play his second Rotterdam final – he lost to Martin Klizan in 2016, and his 29th overall. The Frenchman has a terrible record, having only won 7 out of 28 finals (16 out of 28 for the Swiss).

Photo credit: Marianne Bevis

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rotterdam 2019

A few weeks ago he defeated Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and later advanced to the semifinals where he was ousted by Rafael Nadal:

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

But today Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to world number 56 Damir Dzumhur – who had not won a match this year – in the first round of the Rotterdam tournament. Dzumhur will meet Mikhail Kukushkin for a place in the quarter-finals against Gael Monfils. The Frenchman booked his place in the last eight with a 3-set win over Andreas Seppi.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rotterdam 2019

In the other matches today, recent Sofia Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who turned 23 on Monday, defeated Jérémy Chardy, while Stan Wawrinka secured his place in the quarterfinals with a straight set win over Milos Raonic.

Daniil Medvedev, Rotterdam 2019

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

Photo credit: Andrew Robertson, Marianne Bevis

Read more:
Rotterdam 2018: the title and the number one ranking for Roger Federer
Rotterdam 2017: lucky 13 for Tsonga

Rafa Nadal, Roland Garros 2017
Rafael Nadal’s road to the final

Rafa only lost 29 games en route to his 22nd Grand Slam final. Nadal, aiming to be the first man to ever win a Grand Slam title 10 times, has a perfect 9-0 record in his previous nine appearances in the Roland Garros final.

I have been playing a great event. But Stan is playing unbelievable, no? It will be a super hard final and I will need to play at my very best.

Round Opponent Score
R1 Benoît Paire 6-1 6-4 6-1
R2 Robin Haase 6-1 6-4 6-3
R3 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0 6-1 6-0
R4 Roberto Bautista Agut [17] 6-1 6-2 6-2
QF Pablo Carreno Busta [20] 6-2 2-0 ret.
SF Dominic Thiem [6] 6-3 6-4 6-0
Stan Wawrinka’s road to the final

RG_2017_semi_finals 141
Tous droits réservés G. Chazalon

Wawrinka didn’t dropped a set in his first five matches but was pushed to five sets by Andy Murray in the semies. With a win on Sunday he will become the oldest champion in Paris since 34-year-old Andres Gimeno in 1972 and will be only the third man in the Open era, after Laver and Rosewall, to win three or more Grand Slam titles after turning 30.

I think to play Rafa on clay in French Open in a final is probably the biggest challenge you can have in tennis. He’s the best player ever on clay.No one will go on the court thinking he has no pressure. We both want to win the title, and we both gonna give it all on the court.

Round Opponent Score
R1 Jozef Kovalik 6-2 7-6 6-3
R2 Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 7-6 7-5
R3 Fabio Fognini [28] 7-6 6-0 6-2
R4 Gaël Monfils [15] 7-5 7-6 6-2
QF Marin Cilic [7] 6-3 6-3 6-1
SF Andy Murray [1] 6-7 6-3 5-7 7-6 6-1

Read More

Andy Murray, Rome 2017

Andy Murray was looking to turn around his season in Rome, but instead he suffered a shock defeat to Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-4. Murray, who didn’t drop a set in Rome last year, becomes the first defending champion to lose in his first match since 2008 when Rafael Nadal fell to Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Fognini lost to Sascha Zverev in the next round, and arrived just in time in Barcelona for the birth of his son:

Io e te… in cima al mondo!!! FF87 ♥️ FF17

Une publication partagée par Fabio Fognini (@fabiofogna) le

Enjoy a few pictures from Murray’s practice sessions in Rome:

Andy Murray.

Andy Murray.
Read More