Monfils overcomes injury scare and Gasquet to book Djokovic Eastbourne final
Gael Monfils overcame a second-set injury scare to defeat Richard Gasquet in three sets and set up an Aegon International final against Novak Djokovic.
The Frenchman dug deep for a 6-2 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-4) victory against his compatriot, despite requiring lengthy treatment on his knee towards the closing stages of the second set.
Gasquet himself had shown his battling qualities to save three match points in the second to level the match, but it was Monfils that ultimately proved triumphant.
Monfils broke for a 3-1 lead in the first and continued to pile pressure on the Gasquet serve, the world number 27 forced to save three more break points to make it 4-2.
There was no stopping Monfils in game eight, however, as Gasquet's usually reliable backhand let him down to hand his opponent a second break and the set.
A hold to love to start the second was evidence of Monfils' growing momentum, further underlined by his pair of cross-court forehand winners to move 4-2 in front.
But a double fault at break point in the next immediately surrendered the initiative and after Monfils saw two match points go begging at 5-4, he received treatment on his left knee following a nasty fall in the next game.
From 4-0 down in the tie-break Monfils recovered to force a match point at 7-6, but Gasquet saved himself again before winning the next two points to force a decider.
Monfils earned the early break in the last set, only for Gasquet to tie things up once again at 5-5.
However, in a back-and-forth decider Monfils won four straight points from 4-3 ahead to book a date with Djokovic.
Meanwhile, Yuichi Sugita will contest the Antalya Open final against Adrian Mannarino, who saw off Andreas Seppi 6-4 6-4.
Sugita was 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 4-1 to the good against Marcos Baghdatis when the Cypriot fell to the turf, seemingly suffering from heat exhaustion, and could not continue.