With the first major tournament out of the way and the tennis world now shifting to the second month of the season, the 2014 Open Sud de France tournament officially started the month of February for the tennis world in Montpellier, France.
Big-name players like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and even the most recent Grand Slam winner in Stanislas Wawrinka didn't grace the courts in Montpellier, but there were still quite a few players looking to continue proving themselves on the ATP Tour.
Richard Gasquet, the No. 9 player in the world, looked to defend his title during the tournament. With a field that included Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, though, securing a repeat in the Open Sud de France was more difficult than it looked.
That's how Monfils was able to win the tournament and hand Gasquet a tough loss in the final.
Here are the results from each day of the French tournament.
*Statistics courtesy of ATP World Tour website.
Day 9 Score
No. 5 Gael Monfils defeated No. 1 Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 6-4
Day 9 Recap
In a lopsided final for the 2014 Open Sud de France, it was No. 5 seed Gael Monfils that defeated No. 1 seed Richard Gasquet in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, to take the tournament championship.
The event took place in front of a largely French crowd in Montpellier, France, and the action in the final was only matched by the spectators showing their support for both native sons. It was an exciting atmosphere, no matter how one-sided the action was.
Gasquet spoke about Monfils to ATPWorldTour.com before the Finals matchup:
Gael is an incredible player, he does everything and his ranking doesn’t reflect his level of play at all. To me, he should be ranked Top 10-15 with the way he is playing. It’s always a bit weird to play a friend in a final, but I am looking forward to it. I think it’s the best final we could have here in Montpellier and I hope it will be a nice match.
While Gasquet was widely considered the favorite to win the entire tournament, he had shown weakness against the competition leading into the final on Sunday, Feb. 9 and was thoroughly unmatched by the stronger and faster Monfils.
Monfils showcased his speed along the baseline and was all over Gasquet’s serve. With plenty of power in his swing and the No. 1 seed struggling to find any type of rhythm, it was clear from very early in the match that Monfils was the best player on the court.
Both men were looking to build momentum heading into the rest of the year, but it was Monfils that captured the Open Sud de France in his home country and gained serious confidence heading into the next Grand Slam.
Monfils will be a favorite to contend in this year’s French Open.
Day 8 Scores
G. Monfils def. J. Nieminen; 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
R. Gasquet def. J. Janowicz; 7-6(6), 7-6 (4)
The finals of the 2014 Open Sud de France are set, with two Frenchmen doing battle in their native country with an ATP World Tour title on the line.
Richard Gasquet, the top-seed and defending champion, made his way back to the finals after a grueling, straight-set victory over third-seeded Jerzy Janowicz. The 27-year-old hit 31 winners in the match and committed just 11 unforced errors to emerge with the victory.
He’s now set to do battle in the championship with Gael Monfils, one of the more intriguing players around.
Monfils outperformed his No. 5 seed and made his way into the finals after a solid performance against sixth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen.
The wily Frenchman won a three-set battle, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to advance to the championship over his Finnish opponent. Monfils serve was strong on Saturday, as the 27-year-old fired 15 aces on his way to the win.
Monfils is looking for his fifth career title on Sunday and his first since a victory in Stockholm three years ago. He won this event four years ago and is hoping to find similar luck against Gasquet.
Day 7 Scores
R. Gasquet def. A. Olivetti; 6-4, 6-2
J. Janowicz def. E. Roger-Vasselin; 6-2, 6-4
G. Monfils def. D. Istomin; 6-4, 6-4
J. Nieminen def. M. Gicquel; 6-3, 3-6, 7-6
Frenchman Richard Gasquet continued his ascent back to the finals of the Open Sud De France, obliterating Albano Olivetti, who also hails from France, in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) to get one step closer to defending his title.
Olivetti served well, managing 13 aces in the match, but could not force any break-point opportunities and it ultimately doomed his already-slim chances of an upset against the top-seed.
Gasquet will move on to face Jerzy Janowicz in the semis after the Polish star knocked out Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in straight sets. The third-seeded Janowicz made quick work of Roger-Vasselin, racking up 18 aces on the way to a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
The other side of the bracket finds Gael Monfils and Jarkko Nieminen ready for an epic clash. Monfils, the second Frenchman now in the semis, dispatched Denis Istomin in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
The entertaining and energetic star will have his work cut out for him against Nieminen, a scrappy Finnish player who edged Marc Gicquel after three tough sets (6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5)).
These semifinal showdowns should set up an epic championship round at the 2014 Open Sud De France. Make sure you keep following along for the latest updates on this thrilling tourney.
Day 6 Scores
No. 1 Richard Gasquet defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-1, 6-3
No. 7 Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeated Dustin Brown, 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 Gael Monfils defeat Joao Sousa, 6-3, 6-2
Albano Olivetti defeated Nikolay Davydenko, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5
Marc Gicquel defeated No. 2 Gilles Simon, 7-6 (4), 6-3
No. 6 Jarkko Nieminen defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5)
Denis Istomin defeated No. 4 Dmitry Tursunov, 7-5, 6-4
No. 3 Jerzy Janowicz defeated Adrian Mannarino, 7-6 (2), 6-3
Day 6 Recap
The second round of the 2014 Open Sud de France kicked off with an action-packed schedule featuring all of the top seven seeds going to battle for the right to advance to Round 3 and continue the hunt for a championship.
No. 1 seed Richard Gasquet has looked like the cream of the crop throughout this event thus far and he continued his stellar play by beating Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-1, 6-3. The dominant straight-set win set the tone for other top seeds to roll in their matches as well.
No. 3 Seed Jerzy Janowicz, No. 5 seed Gael Monfils, No. 6 seed Jarkko Nieminen and No. 7 Edouard Roger-Vasselin also all won their respective second-round matches in straight sets.
Day 6 featured two huge upsets as well.
Not only did No. 4 seed Dmitry Tursunov fall to unranked Denis Istomin, but No. 2 seed and one of the favorites to win the tournament Gilles Simon was handed a devastated defeat by Marc Gicquel, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Simon was one of the French stars in the field many expected would contend for the tournament win, but he was handed a tough loss in the first set and simply couldn’t find a rhythm I’m the second.
With plenty of action already, the 2014 Open Sud de France is only going to get better.
Day 5 Results
Nikolay Davydenko defeated No. 8 Julien Benneteau, 7-6 (6), 7-5
Dustin Brown defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1)
No. 5 Gael Monfils defeated Lukasz Kubot, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
No. 6 Jarkko Nieminen defeated Aleksandr Nedovyesov, 4-6, 6-2, 4-4 (retired)
Joao Sousa defeated Tobias Kamke, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
Day 5 Recap
The 2014 Open Sud de France is one of the most underrated tournaments of the year, but the fierce competition is giving hardcore and casual fans alike a reason to tune into the unpredictable action in Montpellier, France.
Day 5 was no exception.
The fifth day of action featured two of the ranked players remaining advancing to the second round. No. 5 seed Gael Monfils defeated Lukasz Kubot, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, and No. 6 seed Jarkko Nieminen defeated Aleksandr Nedovyesov after the unranked challenger was forced to retire from the matchup in the third and final set.
Joao Sousa and Dustin Brown also managed big victories on Day 5.
The biggest upset of the day came when No. 8 seed Julien Benneteau was stunned in straight sets by Nikolay Davydenko, 7-6 (6), 7-5.
Men's Singles Day 4 Results
Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, def. Marsel Ilhan, Turkey, 6-4, 7-5.
Marc Gicquel, France, def. Michael Llodra, France, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Albano Olivetti, France, def. Kenny De Schepper, France, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert, France, def. Andres Artunedo Martinavarr, Spain, 6-4, 6-3.
Adrian Mannarino, France, def. Vincent Millot, France, 6-4, 6-4.
Men's Doubles Day 4 Results
Rameez Junaid, Australia, and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (2), Pakistan, def. Dustin Brown, Germany, and Austin Krajicek, United States, 6-7 (14), 7-6 (5), 10-7.
Paul Hanley, Australia, and Jonathan Marray (3), Britain, def. Teymuraz Gabashvili, Russia, and Joao Sousa, Portugal, 7-5, 6-0.
Henri Kontinen, Finland, and Jarkko Nieminen, Finland, def. Dorian Descloix, France, and Gael Monfils, France, , retired.
Guillaume Rufin, France, and Gilles Simon, France, def. Gero Kretschmer, Germany, and Alexander Satschko, Germany, 6-1, 4-6, 13-11.
Nikolay Davydenko, Russia, and Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, def. Aleksandr Nedovyesov, Kazakhstan, and Michal Przysiezny,
Day 4 Recap
Men's singles motored on this first round without many highlighted matches for day four.
One of the day's more interesting contests came when Frenchman Marc Gicquel beat countryman Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Despite these two hailing from the same country, this was only their second head-to-head showdown on the ATP circuit, and the first in five yer.
This match was closer than the score suggested. Gicquel was just far better with his break opportunities. He went 2-of-5 while Llodra converted just one of his eight opportunities.
Up next for Gicquel is another Frenchman in Gilles Simon.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-4, 7-5 over Marsel Ihan of Turkey was solid, but he will be facing a stiff step up in competition from qualifier Ihan to his second-round opponent, fourth-seeded Dmitry Tursunov from Russia.
Singles Results for Feb. 3 (Quarterfinals)
A. Olivetti def. L. Giustino; 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4
M. Ilhan def. M. Teixeira; 6-3, 6-4
P. Mathieu def. N. Mahut; 6-1, 3-0
A. Artunedo Martinavarr def. V. Millot; 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-3
M. Gicquel def. A. Krajicek; 6-3, 6-2
Doubles Results for Feb. 3
K. Skupski/N. Skupski def. K. De Schepper/F. Martin; 6-4, 3-6, 15-13
Recap for Day 3
The third day of competition brought more upsets in France with Artunedo Martinavarr yet again playing surprisingly well to advance.
The 20-year-old needed three sets yet again, but his victory over Vincent Millot gave him his second win over a top seed in the tournament. Rather than doing so through his service game, Artunedo Martinavarr got the job done through his return game.
Artunedo Martinavarr held Millot to just one ace and finished with seven out of 12 break points saved. Along with the his win, Olivetti once again advanced in three sets and moved forward in the tournament.
Gicquel's run continued as well with a straight set win over No. 7 Austin Krajicek without having to save a break point during the entire match.
Singles Results for Feb. 2
A. Artunedo Martinavarr def. N. Desein; 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4)
A. Krajicek def. E. Crepaldi; 6-4, 6-4
L. Giustino def. G. Burquier; 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
M. Ilhan def. E. Lopez-Perez; 6-7(3), 7-6(1), 6-3
M. Gicquel def. Y. Jankovits; 6-2, 6-4
M. Teixeira def. L. Lokoli; 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
V. Millot def. C. Lestienne; 6-2, 6-3
A. Olivetti def. M. Fucsovics; 6-4, 7-6(1)
Recap of Day 2
After an opening round void of true upsets, the second round of action brought quite a few.
Marton Fucsovics, the No. 2 seed in the bracket, was downed by 22-year-old Albano Olivetti. The young French player, who turned pro back in 2010, upset Fucsovics in straight sets to advance to the quarterfinals.
His strength throughout the match was his serving with 14 aces, more than double the amount Fucsovics was able to put together. Nine of those aces came in the second set to pull out the crucial victory.
Another young player who pulled off a great win was Andres Artunedo Martinavarr, who took three sets to down Niels Desein, the No. 4 player in the tournament. The 20-year-old finished with just two double faults throughout the match and was consistent throughout to advance.
Singles Results from Feb. 1
A. Artunedo Martinavarr def. A. Bega; 6-3, 7-6(4)
E. Lopez-Perez def. C. Hemery; 6-4, 7-6(7)
Y. Jankovits def. L. Rochette; 6-4, 6-3
E. Crepaldi def. R. Marcora; 6-4, 6-4
L. Giustino def. J. Marie; 6-3, 6-3
N. Desein def. M. Janvier; 6-3, 6-2
A. Krajicek def. J. Vernet; 6-3, 6-1
M. Fucsovics def. N. Basilashvili; 6-1, 2-0
M. Teixeira def. H. Nys; 6-4, 6-1
G. Burquier def. M. Neuchrist
C. Lestienne def. B. Favier; 6-3, 6-2
M. Gicquel def. R. Coco; 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(4)
A. Olivetti def. A. Benneteau; 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(4)
V. Millot def. F. Martin; 6-4, 7-6(6)
M. Ilhan def. D. Dexscloix; 6-4, 6-4
L. Lokoli def. K. Boumlil; 6-3, 7-6(2)
Recap of Day 1
The first day of competition in Montpellier went as planned with every top seed advancing, but one of the biggest surprises was Marc Gicquel having to fight to advance over Rudy Coco in three sets.
The No. 1 seed in the bracket and the No. 127 player in the world pulled out the last two sets to down Coco and advance to the second round. Gicquel wasn't perfect in the match, but the 36-year-old finished with six out of 10 break points and eight aces to advance.
In another close match, Albano Olivetti used 23 aces and saved five out of six break points to control Antoine Benneteau and pull out his first-round match in three sets.