Edmund faces Gael Monfils as he bids for his first title
ANTWERP, BELGIUM – Kyle Edmund is one step away from winning a first ATP title as he looks to close out a strong year.
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Kyle Edmund  def. Richard Gasquet  6-3 6-4
British No. 1 Kyle Edmund denied Richard Gasquet the chance of being in an all French final as he eased past the Frenchman in straight sets. The Brit ousted the former champion to gain some measure of revenge for their last encounter here two years ago.
There has been much improvement in the Brit since then, and he delivered a commanding performance with some very solid serving as he looks to capture his first tour level title on Sunday. In fact, Edmund has yet to lose his serve this week.
Edmund took control of the match early with a break to go 3-0 up. Gasquet fought long and hard to redress that balance in a lengthy game where he failed to convert five break point chances. His brief flurry of resistance a few games on fending off three break points on his own serve meant Edmund held on for the first set with a single break advantage.
The Brit broke early once more, and maybe was a little tight in trying to break for the match, with Gasquet saving a couple of match points, before closing out a spot in his second final of the season.
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While Edmund has been piling on the match time at a tour level, Gael Monfils might have started the year well winning the title in Doha, bit since then has been a little up and down.
He has picked up a couple of semi-finals since then but after the US open dropped down to the Challenger level to pick up a title there.
His time in Asia was short – first round losses in Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai, while Edmund’s Asian campaign proved fruitful for the Brit. However Antwerp has suited Monfils well on his debut here.
The flamboyant Frenchman may lack the firepower of Edmund on a good serving day but he has the placement and consistency to test the Brit. Monfils is of course known for his athletic ability (if not to throw himself around the court physically, often to his own detriment)!
What he can do well is switch from defending well to being on the attack, and can send his groundstrokes back with interest. Of course his love for the more flashy crowd-pleasing shotmaking can be his undoing.
Experience is key here. Nerves got the better of Edmund earlier this year in Marrakech and with seven tour lavel titles, he will be the favourite here despite having slipped down the rankings.
Edmund should be able to give a better account of himself this time around in a final, but the French have enjoyed success here with Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the titlists so far. Edmund will need to dictate aggressively and look to finish his points quickly to deny Monfils any chance of getting any rhythm at all.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets.
Edmund & Monfils are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 3pm (2pm BST).
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