Gael Monfils reached his first ATP Tour final on Australian soil by beating homegrown Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-5, 6-0 in 80 minutes at the Adelaide International 1. From 5-5 in the first set, Monfils won eight straight games, before a tense 10-minute finale, for a chance to capture his 11th crown on Sunday.
Monfils, who hit seven aces and lost just five of his first-service points, will now challenge Karen Khachanov for the first time. Khachanov advanced to a title match at an ATP Tour event for the first time since November 2018 at the Rolex Paris Masters (d. Djokovic).
““The last two years I didn’t win tournaments, so for me to make it to another final, it’s very important,” said former World No. 8 Khachanov. “Obviously, I will fight like a dog tomorrow, and let’s see what happens.”
The second-seeded Russian broke a two-match losing streak in his third ATP Head2Head meeting against third-seeded Croatian Cilic with a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over one hour and 54 minutes. Cilic beat Khachanov en route to the St. Petersburg Open title last year.
Adelaide Doubles Final Set
Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo drew on their big-match experience to defeat third seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar 6-3, 6-7(6), 10-2 for a place in the Adelaide doubles final. The Croatian/Brazilian team, winners of six doubles trophies, will face Indians Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan, who were 6-2, 6-4 victors over fourth seeds Tomislav Brkic and Santiago Gonzalez.