Frenchman Gael Monfils hopes to ride the momentum of his Stockholm Open title into a long-sought trophy at his home Paris Masters next month.
The world number 10 claimed his first title in a year on Sunday when he defeated Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 to earn the crown in the Swedish capital in his debut.
Despite still having a chance of earning a place in the eight-man November 20-27 ATP World Tour Finals in London, Monfils is not getting too carried away.
“Honestly, my goal is to do well again in Bercy (the Paris Masters venue),” said the losing finalist at the last two Paris editions.
“I’m not looking at London at all. I’m off next week, I think it will be good for my body.
“But I want to build for Paris. Maybe I can also play well in Valencia (the week before Bercy). But my ultimate goal for this season is to win in Bercy.”
Finland’s Nieminen saved three match points before driving a forehand wide to lose in just under two hours in Stockholm.
“I’m very happy, it was a great final for me,” said Monfils, 36-14 on the season. “I’m pleased to win it.
“I was strong in the mind and felt very concentrated. Jarkko was playing well. But I believed in myself, I had mental strength.
“I also didn’t have a drop in form and that was also great. My serve worked well, it helped me a lot.”
Nieminen was playing in his third Stockholm final. The 30-year-old, world number 73, lost in 2001 to Sjeng Schalken and in 2006 to James Blake, whom he beat in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Monfils had been the only member of the top 15 without a title this year until he came through over Nieminen in a repeat of a win in Bangkok three weeks ago.
The Frenchman, who cut short his Asian tour after losing a Bangkok semi-final and returned to Paris for treatment on a knee problem, said that his quick recovery was a surprise.
“I didn’t think it would go like this,” said the winner of a fourth career title, who claimed his last in Montpellier last October. “I went to Paris and rehabbed and trained. it went better than expected for me,”