Gael Monfils claims 11th singles title with win over Karen Khachanov
The 35-year-old Monfils has admitted he has struggled for motivation during the pandemic because he does not enjoy playing in empty stadiums
Adelaide, Australia: Flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils claimed the 11th title of his career and his first in almost two years when he beat Russia's Karen Khachanov at the Adelaide International on Sunday.
Monfils broke Khachanov once in each set to take the title 6-4, 6-4.
The 35-year-old Monfils has admitted he has struggled for motivation during the pandemic because he does not enjoy playing in empty stadiums.
As a result his ranking has dropped from inside the top 10 to its current position of 21.
But playing in front of a large crowd who had poured in to see local favourite Ashleigh Barty win the women's title, Monfils lifted and had the edge on his Russian opponent.
Both men had no trouble holding serve throughout the match.
But at 4-5 in both sets, Khachanov seemed to let his nerves get the better of him and he dropped serve each time to hand the match to Monfils.
The two men will remain in Adelaide for next week's second ATP tournament, where Monfils is top seed once again.
World number 29 Khachanov will be third seed, with the pair, who have been practising together this week, drawn to meet in the semi-finals.
Novak Djokovic ensured he would keep his No 1 ranking for at least another week by extending his winning record against Gael Monfils with a 6-3, 6-2 victory
Monfils, who had reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year, had struggled on clay and had already pulled out in Monte Carlo and in Barcelona