A slew of inspired performances against top ATP stars at the 2020 Open Sud de France has seen Canada's Vasek Pospisil return to a final for the first time since his comeback from a recurring back injury in 2014.
At 29, Pospisil has found his best tennis again, and things have begun to look promising for him again. He said in one of his recent interviews,
I feel like my body has been through a lot actually and I feel the best since my initial back injury in 2014. There is a long way to go, but I am feeling really optimistic and satisfied.
And a long way it is indeed as he looks to get his first ATP Tour title against home favourite and top seed Gael Monfils. To be able to get over the fiesty and confident-looking Frenchman on home soil, Pospisil will have to find something extra special.
Monfils, for one, has given the home fans much to cheer about all week. With the other French stalwarts falling by the wayside, it was the 33-year old who looked to be the favourite to go all the way in Montpellier.
After a difficult first match against countryman Adrian Mannarino, Monfils notched up a few easier wins to make his way to the summit clash to be held on Sunday.
And he has a lot to play for here. Having come off of underwhelming campaigns in the last few weeks, including the Australian Open, Monfils will be increasingly hungry for success. And what better place to do it than in front family and home fans?
He has a tough oppenent in form of Pospisil, who has been impressive on serve throughout the week. The Canadian has won well over 70% of the first serve point even against great returners like David Goffin in the semis.
The underdog will also take heart from his showing in the return department, especially from his first match against Denis Shapovalov. He will get a look at similarly strong serving from Monfils, but there's no reason why he cannot repeat his heroics from the first round.
The match will definitely witness some big serving, and tiebreakers are a definite probability. Clutch play during the big points might sway this one in the favour of either. Monfils is the more experienced no doubt, but I'll go with Pospisil here.
The Canadian has put in a lot of work to get back to this level and looks the more determined and the hungrier of the two and he is not going to let this one go without a fight.
Prediction: Pospisil to win in three sets
Note: The prediction and opinion is of the author and not Sportskeeda's.