Things didn't look very promising for Gael Monfils early in the first set, but turned in his favor as he advanced past Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6, 6-3 to the Final of the Winston-Salem Open.
Dolgopolov broke Monfils in the first game and again to go to 3-0 in the first set. The Frenchman called the trainer who immediately worked on his abdominal muscles. "It was a bit better after the trainer worked on it, but I still felt it during the first set,. It's not a tear, but it's very tight. I just have to take care of it, and I should be fine." said Monfils.
After falling to 0-4, Monfils appeared to find his groove and after back to back breaks of service, its was even at 5-5.
After both held serve, the first set went to a tiebreak where both players came up with big shots and big serves when needed and things went back and forth. But after an unforced error by Dolgopolov, Monfils served the tiebreak out winning 11-9, inciting Dolgo to slam his racket on the court, receiving a warning.
In the second set, the errors piled up on the Ukrainian, accompanied by first serve struggles leading to an early break for Monfils. It appeared as though the baggage of losing the big first set lead carried into the second for Dolgopolov and the errors continued. Meanwhile, Monfils play continued to rise and the former top 10 player closed out the match at 6-3 in the second set.
Monfils will compete in his third final of the season. His first since his final in Nice back in May.