World no. 9 Gael Monfils claimed the third Open Sud de France title and the ninth ATP crown overall, beating Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 37 minutes. Becoming the tenth active player with at least 30 ATP finals, home star drew the energy from crowd support, winning the inaugural event here ten years ago and still standing strong at the age of 33, delivering the eighth trophy for the Frenchmen in ten editions of this ATP 250 event.
It was an excellent week for Vasek Pospisil, reaching the first ATP final since Washington 2014 and taking another big step on the recovery trail after that nasty back injury that kept him off the court for more than eight months at the end of 2018 and the first half of 2019.
The Canadian defeated David Goffin last night from the verge of losing but didn't have enough energy left for Gael Monfils who fended off all four break chances and produced one break in each set to seal the deal and celebrate the crown, the first since Rotterdam a year ago.
Serving at 70%, Monfils played better on the second serve which earned the victory for him, standing stronger in the decisive moments and bringing the triumph home in straight sets. Nothing could separate two great servers in the first nine games, with two deuces on Monfils' serve at 3-3 and 4-4, something that Vasek couldn't convert into real chances.
The Canadian fended off a set point in the tenth game with an ace down the T line before Gael found the way to seal the set at 6-5 with a forehand down the line winner that brought him the break he needed. The Frenchman had to dig deep in the opening games of the second set, repelling four break chances to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard, landing a perfect backhand down the line winner in the eighth game to move 5-3 up and serving for the victory.
A service winner in that ninth game pushed the Frenchman over the top, starting a massive celebration in front of the partisan crowd and earning enough points to catch Matteo Berrettini in the eighth place of the ATP ranking list, both having 2860 points.