After Radek Stepanek predictably toppled Donald Young it was left to John Isner and Gael Monfils to fight it out for the final spot in the Washington finals. Isner was the favourite heading in despite Monfils’ higher ranking because of his huge serve and Gael’s tendency to have significant mid-match form fluctuations. It was an inspired Monfils who saved a match point and then went on to win the third set tie break to book a place in the finals with the 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 win over the home crowd favourite.
The match start was delayed by rain and was interrupted twice by bad weather before finally finishing at 1.15am, Monfils later saying it it was difficult to concentrate in the conditions.
After splitting with long time coach Roger Rasheed last month, Gael was happy to be taking some positive steps in a season of scattered results. “I’m very happy. It’s not finished, but almost a great achievement. I have had a tough year. I had an injury and a new coach. To come up strong again, it feels good.”