Jannik Sinner, 20, encouraged 35-year-old Gael Monfils to keep going after their Sofia final clash.
Sinner, seeded at No. 1, saw off Monfils 6-3 6-4 to defend his Sofia title.
Monfils, who started the season with three consecutive losses and hampered with injuries, was playing his first final of the season in Sofia.
It was the fourth meeting between Sinner and Monfils and the third win for the Italian.
“First of all Gael, great week [for you]. [You were] unlucky in some moments today. But, we had some great fights, great matches. Obviously congrats to you and your team. Tennis needs you, it really needs you. So, thanks for staying here in tough moments, like this, without crowds. I know you don’t like that. But, hopefully, soon everything is going to be normal. So, good luck to you,” Sinner told Monfils during trophy ceremony.
Sinner spoke highly of Monfils in his press conference
“What Monfils has done in his career is amazing. He has played a lot of big matches and still moves very well on the court. He’s extremely talented and he’s a great guy. We have a good relationship, sometimes we joke together in the locker room,” Sinner said of Monfils.
Sinner claimed a straight-set win over Monfils but afterward insisted it wasn’t easy at all.
“The level was high today,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “We had long, long rallies and it was physical as well. I am happy to be the winner here in Sofia again. I think it is a very nice tournament. It was the best match [I have played this week] because I had to.”
Also, Sinner admitted he was luckier than Monfils in key moments of the match.
“I think in the crucial moments I was a bit luckier than him, which helped me a lot,” Sinner admitted.