Monfils stuns Federer in Lille

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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Gael Monfils demolished world number two Roger Federer in straight sets to ensure France finished all square with Switzerland on day one of the Davis Cup final.

A record crowd of 27,432 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille watched the Swiss move ahead in the tie thanks to Stan Wawrinka’s 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening singles rubber.

However, a tremendous display of serving saw Monfils blow Federer off the court, with the 28-year-old wrapping up a 6-1 6-4 6-3 success to pull France level.

There had been concerns over Federer’s fitness heading into the final after the 33-year-old pulled out of last Sunday’s ATP World Tour Finals showdown against Novak Djokovic at the 11th hour with a back injury.

He only returned to training on Wednesday afternoon, but seemed hopeful his back would hold up to the rigours of a meeting with Monfils.

Yet the Frenchman, only too aware of his opponent’s concerns, swiftly asserted his authority with two breaks in the opening set.

Federer fought hard to better the world number 19, but could find no answers to Monfils’ display of power hitting and two further breaks was all that was needed to secure the win and bring the crowd to its feet.

It was a moment to savour for the home supporters, who had earlier watched Tsonga go down valiantly to Australian Open champion Wawrinka.

Ranked fourth in the world, Wawrinka dominated the opening set only for Tsonga to level matters with a show of aggression in the second.

That only spurred Wawrinka on, though, and the 29-year-old hit 61 winners in total as he saw off the Frenchman in four sets.

Switzerland have never won the Davis Cup, while France last lifted the trophy in 2001.

Attention will now turn to Saturday’s doubles, where home pair Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet are set to come up against Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer.

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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