Monfils rallies into Rotterdam final

France's Gael Monfils celebrates winning his semifinal match against Russia's Daniil Medvedev at the Rotterdam Open Saturday. — Reuters

ROTTERDAM — Gael Monfils returned to the final at the Rotterdam Open Saturday as he overhauled Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 before revealing he was taking painkillers to ease a left wrist injury.

The French showman left it late but gave the Ahoy Arena crowd a thrill as he broke in the penultimate game of the third set and served out the win a game later.

Victory sent the 32-year-old into the final for the second time after reaching the title match in his last Rotterdam appearance in 2016, when he lost to Martin Klizan.

Monfils, who will take on either top seed Kei Nishikori or former champion Stan Wawrinka in Sunday's final, revealed that he has been suffering all week with a left wrist injury.

"I fell heavily on day one and I've felt it every day. I've been on painkillers. It's not so good but I'm working with my physio," said the world No. 33.

"I try not to think of it. I hope the momentum will get me through."

Victory Saturday was quick revenge for Monfils, who lost to Medvedev a week ago in the Sofia semifinals, an event which the Russian won.

Medvedev's defeat was only his third loss of the season, leaving his record at 14-3.

The contest featured several momentum shifts and a total of nine breaks of serve in just over two hours.

Monfils at times looked exhausted after points, leaning on his racket but quickly rediscovering his legs seconds later.

The Frenchman went up an early break in the final set but was hauled back by Medvedev, the fifth seed.

A flicked winner off the Monfils racket in the ninth game brought up two break points, with the French player earning a 5-4 margin.

A Medvedev backhand into the net a game later handed Monfils the win. — AFP