Gael Monfils defeated qualifier Pavel Kotov 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 on Sunday to win his first championship of the year in Stockholm, making him the oldest winner in the history of the BNP Paribas Nordic Open.
The 37-year-old showed excellent athleticism to hold off Kotov, the first qualifier to advance to a tour-level final since Jiri Vesely in Dubai in 2022. Kotov was the first qualifier to reach such a final. The Frenchman, playing Kotov for the first time in a Lexus ATP Head2Head match, maintained a deep position behind the baseline the entire two hours and 35 minutes of play to absorb the Russian's power.
"Credit to Pavel," Monfils said. "He has had an unbelivable week and he was pushing me on the court. I ran a lot today. When I had to save break points in the second set, I tried to push through. I don't know how I pulled up but I kept believing and fighting."
Monfils has triumphed twice in Stockholm after winning the ATP 250 competition there in 2011. His 12-year gap between championships is the longest in history, making him the 11th player to ever win the trophy twice