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Edmund vs Monfils tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Can Edmund secure first ATP World Tour title in Antwerp?

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 20 Oct 2018
  • Kyle Edmund faces Gael Monfils in the final of the European Open on Sunday
  • Edmund vs Monfils is live from Antwerp on Sunday at 3pm local/2pm BST
Kyle Edmund (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Can Gael Monfils become the third straight French player to win the European Open or will it be a first title for Kyle Edmund in Antwerp on Sunday?

Top seed Kyle Edmund looks for his first career title as he takes on Gael Monfils in the final of the European Open in Antwerp on Sunday.

Kyle Edmund (LUC CLAESSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Despite a season which has seen him reach the semifinals of the Australian Open, make Masters 1000 Series quarterfinals in Madrid and Shanghai and rise as high as world no. 14 a few weeks ago – just above his current ranking of world no. 15 – Edmund is still searching for his first ATP World Tour title. The 23-year-old British player is the highest-ranked player never to have won a title – although three players ranked higher than Edmund, Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori and David Goffin, have failed to win a title in 2018. 

Currently in 13th place on the Race to London, Edmund is, I believe, still in with a slim mathematical chance of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals or putting himself in position as an alternate – and with Juan Martin del Potro, at least, sure not to play, that would be a good position to be in. 

Edmund reached his first career ATP World Tour final earlier this year in Marrakech on clay, a surface which flatters his big inside-out forehand, but lost that final 2-6, 2-6 to Pablo Andujar. He hadn’t dropped a set on the way to that final, and he hasn’t dropped a set in Antwerp either, beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas for the loss of just two games, benefiting from a walkover from Ilya Ivashka and finally beating Richard Gasquet, champion at the inaugural European Open in 2016, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday. 

Against Gasquet, Edmund’s serve was the star: He served an impressive 16 aces, and lost just three points on his first serve. He only won 50% of points behind his second serve, but then had exactly the same success on his opponent’s second serve, and saved all five of the break points he faced while breaking Gasquet twice to secure victory in the 78-minute match. 

Standing between Edmund and a first career ATP World Tour title is Gael Monfils, who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Gasquet in 2016 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2017 and become the third French player to win the European Open title.

The 32-year-old Monfils is looking for the eighth title of his celebrated career in Antwerp, and the second title of his 2018 season which began with victory at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, where he beat Andrey Rublev in the final.

Kyle Edmund (Photo by Di Yin/Getty Images)
Ranked as high as world no. 6 in 2016 after making the semifinals of the US Open, Monfils spent much of 2017 in the top 20 but was unable to defend his US Open points, losing in the third round and shutting his season down thereafter. He started 2018 at world no. 46 but never dipped lower, buoyed by semifinal appearances in Buenos Aires and Antalya and a Challenger title in Kaohsiung a few weeks ago, as well as by making the third round of the French Open and a slightly surprising fourth round at Wimbledon. 

Monfils came into Antwerp on a three-match losing streak after defeats in Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai, but swiftly turned things around by dropping just three games against Ruben Bemelmans. Up against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round, Monfils ended his compatriot’s title defense in three sets – hardly surprising, given that Tsonga had played the tiniest handful of matches since undergoing knee surgery in April – going on to beat Vasek Pospisil in straight sets. In the semifinals, he ended Diego Schwartzman’s hopes of making a third straight European Open final, beating the Rio Open champion and second seed 6-3, 6-4. 

‘I am relieved to have been able to win this match in two sets,’ Monfils said, speaking before the second semifinal was played. 

‘Luckily I could count on my strong first service. I am hoping to see an all-French final tomorrow, but we'll see later tonight how that turns out.’

Monfils won’t get that all-French final – but nor will he have to contend with Gasquet, who has won seven of their 17 meetings. 

Edmund and Monfils have played just once, at Wimbledon in 2017 when Monfils won 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-4. But if grass is probably Monfils’s worst surface, it’s definitely Edmund’s. Both men will be more comfortable on the hard courts in Antwerp, but it should make a greater degree of difference for the British player. A serving performance like the one he turned in against Gasquet wouldn’t go amiss, either. Monfils is obviously the more accomplished, the more versatile, the more experienced player, but he doesn’t always play his best in finals, with a 7-20 record at ATP World Tour level. If Edmund can serve as well as he did against Gasquet, it feels as if the opportunity is there for the British player to get his first ATP title in Antwerp.

Edmund vs Monfils European Open final tennis is live from Antwerp on Sunday at 3pm local/2pm BST 

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Edmund vs Monfils tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Can Edmund secure first ATP World Tour title in Antwerp?

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