• ATP Tour

Berdych beats Monfils for Montpellier crown

ESPN staff
February 5, 2012
Tomas Berdych beat defending champion Gael Monfils © PA Photos

World No. 7 Tomas Berdych claimed his seventh ATP Tour title at the Open Sud de France with a three-set victory over home favourite Gael Monfils.

The Czech needed three sets to battle past the defending champion, but ultimately had too much power for the Frenchman as he claimed a 6-2 4-6 6-3 victory in a little over two hours in front of a partisan French crowd in Montpellier.

Berdych has been a consistent performer since breaking into the world's top ten following his final appearance at Wimbledon in 2010, but has won just one title since his breakthrough.

But the Czech capitalised on a shaky second serve by Monfils, breaking the Frenchman on three occasions to claim only his second title since April 2009.

An early break put the Czech on the front foot and he wrapped up the opening set with ease, but Monfils responded admirably in the second, showing impressive defence to force the match to a decider. The Frenchman fended off two break points in the eighth game, but Berdych converted a third to serve out for victory.

"It was a great three sets, it was very close and I'm happy I was able to do it," Berdych said. "He is a great player, he knows how to fight on court, but I knew that and I was ready for it."

Meanwhile Mikhail Youzhny extended his unbeaten record against Lukas Lacko to win the PBZ Zagreb Indoors title. The Russian did not drop a service game as he eased to a 6-2 6-3 victory in just 69 minutes in Croatia.

Elsewhere, the VTR Open final at Vina del Mar went the way of Juan Monaco, who edged an all-Argentinean showdown 6-3 6-7(1) 6-1 against Carlos Berlocq.

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