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Tennis

Gael Monfils, Albert Montanes in Open de Nice final

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Gael Monfils, a former French Open semifinalist, enters Roland Garros as an under-the-radar pick.

France's Gael Monfils beat Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-4 at the Open de Nice on Friday to line up a final against Albert Montanes of Spain.

Montanes defeated French wild-card entry Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in the earlier semifinal. Montanes hit 11 aces and clinched victory with a backhand return winner.

A former top 10 player, Monfils was hampered last year by a right knee injury and has dropped to 109th in the rankings.

Monfils hit 17 winners to eight for Andujar to take the first set, when the Spaniard netted a backhand volley. The Frenchman then rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the second.

The Open de Nice is a warm-up tournament for the French Open, which starts Sunday.

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