Berdych, Monfils to meet for Montpellier title
Montpellier, France – Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils were semifinal winners Saturday and will meet for the title at the Open Sud de France tennis tournament.
The top-seeded Berdych had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-4 win over Germany's Philip Kohlschreiber after the third-seeded Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Monfils saved a match point in his semifinal victory, as the second-seeded Simon had a break point to win it in the 12th game of the second set. Monfils was able to save it and won a tiebreaker before opening with an early break in the third.
Simon battled back with a break, but quickly went down 15-40 in the 10th game and Monfils finally finished him off on his second match point to end the two- hour, 26-minute battle.
Monfils, who beat Simon for the first time in three all-time meetings, is trying to win this title for the second time. He won it two years ago, the last time the tournament was contested, and on Sunday will try for his fifth career title.
It's already the second final of the year for Monfils, who lost to countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Australian Open tuneup in Qatar. Monfils owns a dismal career record of 4-12 in finals.
Berdych, meanwhile, is 6-6 in title matches. He made just one final in 2011, winning the crown in Beijing. The Czech opened his 2012 season with a quarterfinal loss to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open.
It was a much easier semifinal for Berdych, who saved all five break points he faced and beat Kohlschreiber for the seventh time in eight all-time meetings.
Berdych won the lone previous matchup with Monfils, taking a 6-3, 6-2 decision in the first round at Dubai in 2008.
Sunday's winner will collect a first prize of $95,000.