Berdych bursts Monfils’ bubble

Tomas Berdych deflated the Monte Carlo Masters finals dream of Gael Monfils as he posted a 6-1 6-4 win on Saturday in just over an hour.

Monfils showed little of the surprising form that took him to upset wins this week against second seed Roger Federer and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

Instead, the Frenchman slumped to 23 unforced errors and lost serve four times.

The first set was a command performance for Berdych, the Czech emerged with the 2-1 lead as the second set began with three straight breaks and took victory in 68 minutes.

Berdych will be playing in his third final of the season after losing title bids in Doha and Rotterdam.

The sixth seed will on Sunday face the winner from former champions Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, meeting later for a record 43rd time.

Berdych will be competing in a fourth career Masters 1000 final and first since losing to Federer in Madrid three years ago.

“I’m really glad to be in this final,” said Berdych, who kept Monfils from becoming the first Frenchman into the final in the principality since Cedric Pioline, a champion a decade and a half ago.

“My serve was working well and was key for me. I’m so happy to have won, this is something that I’ve always had in my mind at this event.”

The win was the sixth out of seven for Berdych over Monfils, who had his only success on the Roland Garros clay in 2012.

Berdych has reached the final without losing a set as he plays the tournament for the 11th time.

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