Djokovic and Monfils clash in Eastbourne final

 

By Jake Davies

  • Novak Djokovic [1] vs Gael Monfils [2]
  • H2H: Djokovic leads 13-0
EASTBOURNE, UK – The two top seeds Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils have made their way through the Eastbourne draw and into the final after an action-packed week of tennis.

 

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Novak Djokovic [1] vs Gael Monfils [2] H2H: Djokovic leads 13-0

The 2017 Aegon International in Eastbourne sees the three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic face Gael Monfils for the title. Djokovic has glided through all of his matches this week as he attained straight sets wins over Vasek Pospisil, Donald Young and Daniil Medvedev. There were moments in those matches where the matches could have swung one way or the other, but the Serbian came through the difficult moments and looks the heavy favourite to win his first ever Eastbourne title against Monfils.

Monfils is here as the No.2 seed and has beaten British wildcard Cameron Norrie and Bernard Tomic, but the real difficulties came in the semi-final match against fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Monfils slipped and hurt his left knee near the end of the second set, which is the same injury that caused him problems back in 2012 and also earlier this year when he withdrew from Miami.

Djokovic leads the head-to-head by 13-1, with the most recent match coming in the US Open semi-final and Monfils’ last victory dating as far back as 2004, which was their first ever meeting. The key points that will have the most focus for many is how Monfils’ serve really holds up. He has the ability to manufacture free points on his serve and can really race through his service games because of that, but he is now playing one of the game’s greatest returners and one of the very best at somehow neutralising the serves of many of the big servers on tour.

Monfils and Djokovic both cover great ground from behind the baseline and both are fantastic at making their opponent make that extra ball, but Djokovic is also better than Monfils in that department.

Another telling stat is that Gael Monfils is 6-19 in ATP finals, while Djokovic is 67-30, this suggests that the Serb really has a stranglehold on his opponent and proves that when it comes to the final dance, Djokovic is the better at dealing with those pressurised situations on the ATP tour at any level.

I think Djokovic will win in straight sets. He has been returning well all week and played another big server in the previous round, so he will be well-prepared for the Monfils challenge that awaits in the final.

Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets

Featured Image © Jane Stokes (DJ Stotty Images)

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