Holder Gael Monils will attempt to extend his title domination in Rotterdam as the Frenchman bids for a trophy hat-trick in the Netherlands.

Monfils has won the last two editions at the Ahoy stadium and will be hoping to close in on the all-time five titles claimed by Roger Federer.

The ATP No. 11 has beaten Felis Auger-Aliassime and Stan Wawrinka in the last two finals here.

The flamboyant shotmaker will likely have to perform without the benefit of a crowd with indications that the event will be played behind closed doors due to COVID-19.

“The tournament brings out the best in Monfils. When I see him play in Rotterdam, he always seems more spectacular than elsewhere,” TD Richard Krajicek said.

“This superb athlete has proven to be unbeatable for the past two years: in 2020 he won the tournament without losing a set.

“”He is definitely one of the favourites for the title.”

Monfils also played the final five years ago, losing to outsider Martin Klizan.

The three finals for the 34-year-old have come from nine appearances; his pair of titles pull him level with double Rotterdam winners Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Stfan Edberg, NicolasEscudé, Robin Söderling and Krajicek himself.

Out to stop the French juggernaut during the first week of March will be Rafael Nadal, Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner.

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