Monfils stuns Berdych in Paris
Originally published on: 28/05/13 00:00
The fifth seed squandered four break points midway through the deciding set after battling back from two sets down against the home favourite.
However, Monfils was rewarded for some fearless tennis as he held his nerve to secure a 7-6(8) 6-4 6-7(3) 6-7(4) 7-5 victory in Paris.
"I had one chance in the fifth set. I didn't make it," Berdych admitted. "He made one, so he made it. That's absolutely what was the difference between us today. He's playing at home and he's a great player."
Monfils, who has slipped out of the world’s top 100 after struggling with a knee injury last season, will face Ernests Gulbis in the second round.
"It's a unique moment because I have not won such matches for a long time, and I have not performed, if I can say, mentally, physically," Monfils said.
"It's one of the best ones I have played here. I believed I would win during the whole match. I have gone through very difficult moments, so you get tougher.
"I'm a fighter, a competitor, so that's my spirit. I think it's a nice victory, but it's only the first round. So now I will have to recover sufficiently. If you defeat a seeded player, it opens up things for me in the draw. But the second round will be difficult for me."