Monfils shows form to win in Montpellier
Gael Monfils showed his best form less than six weeks before the Davis Cup final by beating Croat Ivan Ljubicic 6-2 5-7 6-1 to win the Open Sud de France title.
Frenchman Monfils, the third seed, survived a lapse in concentration in the second set to seal victory in one hour and 52 minutes and claim his third ATP title.
Monfils proved more solid on his serve to dominate the fourth-seeded Ljubicic.
"I'm really happy. These results show I have been working. I had some doubts all year long and I'm relieved I can finally lift a trophy," Monfils told reporters.
The local favourite, gunning for a place in the French team for the Davis Cup final in Belgrade against Serbia, raced through the opening set.
He broke early in the second but Ljubicic hit back and took Monfils's serve in the 11th game to level the match.
"Since I was 3-1 in the second set, I did not serve as well and I paid for it right away. I tried not to panic, to stay in the match and played more simply," Monfils said. Monfils rallied and snatched five games in a row before sealing victory with his 11th ace.