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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils fought off four match points in the tie break reeling off six straight points in stunning Kei Nishikori, 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (6), in a pulsating Montreal comeback.

Photo credit: Pierre Fortier/Tennis Canada

Montreal gained its name as a variation of Mount Royal.

Gael Monfils made the place look like Magic Mountain today.

Watch: Federer Flies To 13th Straight Win in Montreal Opener

A defiant Monfils hit audacious strikes denying four championship points in fighting back from 2-6 down in the tie break for a rousing 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (6) comeback conquest of Kei Nishikori.

Winless in three prior meetings with Nishikori, a resilient Monfils roared back from 3-5 deficits in both the second and third sets against the man who has been the most decisive final-set closer in Open Era history. 

The fifth-seeded Nishikori broke at love in the decisive set then stepped up to serve for the match in the ninth game.

Floating an ingenious backhand lob into the corner, Monfils earned break point. The Frenchman splattered the baseline with a forehand winner breaking back for 4-5.

In tie break, Monfils skimmed the tape with a forehand down the line that scattered wide giving Nishikori the mini break and a 4-2 lead.

When Monfils missed the mark with a backhand down the line, Nishikori had four match points after two hours, 35 minutes of play.

On the first match point, the tight 2016 finalist double faulted into net.

Then Monfils lit up the court taking his level into torrid territory.

A pulsating point ended with Monfils torching a backhand winner down the line to save a second match point.

On the fourth match point, Monfils rocketed a 106 mph forehand blast down the line to level.

A shell-shocked Nishikori knocked a forehand long then banged a ball off the back wall in frustration at handing his opponent match point.

Monfils finished in style cracking one final forehand down the line to complete a two hour, 41-minute thriller.

Next up for Monfils is a meeting with Roberto Bautista Agut.

The 12th-seeded Spaniard swept Ryan Harrison, 7-5, 6-2.

Canadian wild card Denis Shapovalov had the home crowd rocking surprising Juan Martin del Potro, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

The former junior world No. 1 will play the winner of tonight's clash between top-seeded Rafael Nadal and Borna Coric.


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