Stan Wawrinka, Daniil Medvedev, Gael Monfils advance Rotterdam Open semifinals

Monfils edged out Wawrinka in three sets

Monfils edged out Wawrinka in three sets

After that the former number three of the world, now 68 of the ATP world ranking, suffered from injuries, required two left knee surgeries in August 2017 and even thought of putting an end to his tennis career.

The Japanese top seed set up a semifinal with treble Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka, who had his troubles before putting away Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). "I'm pleased with the way I played in it and the way I arrived to the final".

Gael Monfils claimed the Rotterdam Open title on Sunday as he saw off Stan Wawrinka in three sets. From that moment I started to check all the possible stats and the stories behind the tennis players.

His return proved longer and harder than he anticipated: He came back at the start of 2018, lost in the very first round of Rotterdam, and missed Indian Wells and Miami.

"I was able to play solid tennis and I did especially well in the second set", Nishikori said. "It's my first final since the surgery, so to show I can still play at this level against the top players is very important for me".

Nishikori, who is competing at this ATP 500 tournament for the first time, fired three aces in winning 72 percent of his points on first serve.

Wawrinka will be aiming to capture his second title in Rotterdam after beating Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych in back-to-back matches to lift the trophy in 2015.

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It was the Frenchman's eighth career title.

Despite winning his opening game to love, Wawrinka was broken by Monfils in the third game of the set before the Frenchman held to lead 3-1. But a clever drop shot in the sixth game signalled a resurgence and terrific power off the ground at 4-5 resulted in a second break of serve. He was more aggressive and I was giving him too much time.

"We've been practising a lot, we've been talking a lot".

"It's always tough to lose in the final, but if I lose to someone, I'm happy it was against you, Gael, you are close friend and I'm really happy for you".

"I hope we can have a good match". Tied at six games all in the second set, Opelka had two match points in the tiebreaker but a double fault on the second match point allowed Schnur to force the deciding set.

Dzumhur had beaten third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round.

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