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Tennis • Monfils On Fire With Back-To-Back Titles In Montpellier And Rotterdam, Ruud Lifts First ATP Trophy

By Ricky Dimon

Gael Monfils had never won two titles in a single year. That just changed in a big way on Sunday afternoon.

Monfils captured his second title in as many weeks with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament . The Frenchman, a recent champion in Montpellier, successfully defended a title for the first time in his career after triumphing in one hour and 26 minutes.

“It’s an amazing feeling–the first time for me to back it up, year after year, week after week,” Monfils commented. “It is a different feeling I have never experienced in my career, so I feel grateful.”

“The week has been good; encouraging,” said Auger-Aliassime, who is 0-4 lifetime in ATP finals. “It is the start of the season and the second month I’ve played. It is encouraging for what is next but I will have to keep working well, doing the adjustments I need to do and keep believing, keep pushing to give myself chances to play matches like these.”

On the black, indoor hard courts of the New York Open, Kyle Edmund secured his second ATP title with a 7-5, 6-1 defeat of Andreas Seppi. Edmund

”There’s a lot hard work throughout the year, a lot of ups and downs that you don’t see behind the scenes,” the Brit noted. To win this title means a lot to me.”

”He played a good match today and he deserved to win,” Seppi praised. “I enjoyed my time on this court and played some good matches this week. I’ll take the positives from here and move forward.”

While it was the 10th title for Monfils and second for Edmund, Casper Ruud lifted an ATP trophy for the first time in his career. The 21-year-old also became the first man from Norway to win a title after ending the run of loser Pedro Sousa via 6-1, 6-4 scoreline in one hour and 11 minutes. Not even Christian Ruud, Casper’s father and coach, managed to win a title during his playing days.

“I feel a great sensation now,” Ruud assured. “It is what all players look for and dream. I am very happy with my career, although I know that I am still young. Buenos Aires will always be a special place for me; this is my first title.”

“It’s the best week of my life–my first final and maybe the last one,” Sousa joked. “I came to play qualies about two weeks ago and I am sitting here on Sunday. I cannot be more happy. Ruud played very firm and is the deserved champion.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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