Nice, France – Heavy French crowd favorite Gael Monfils and capable Spaniard Albert Montanes will square off in Saturday's championship match at the $530,000 Nice Open, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.
The oft-injured former top-10 star Monfils, a wild card this week, defeated Spaniard Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-4, while Montanes held off French wild card Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in Friday's semifinals at the Nice Lawn Tennis Club.
The 26-year-old Monfils and 32-year-old Montanes will meet for a fifth time, with the Spaniard leading their lifetime series, 3-1, including a clay-court victory at the Monte Carlo Masters event just last month. Montanes is a perfect 3-0 all-time versus Monfils on clay.
The 109th-ranked Monfils will appear in his 18th career final, seeking a fifth title and his first championship in two years. The world No. 82 Montanes is 5-5 in his career finals, but hasn't captured a title anywhere since 2010.
Saturday's winner will earn $95,000.