Monfils Keeps Winning, Reaches Rotterdam Semi-finals
Gael Monfils extended his winning streak to seven matches on Friday night at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament with a place in the semi-finals. The third seed and defending champion had to work hard to beat Briton Daniel Evans 7-6(5), 6-2 in one hour and 52 minutes at the Rotterdam Ahoy.
Evans gained the first break with a forehand drive volley winner for a 5-4 lead, but then struggled to make a first serve. Monfils immediately bounced back and led 4/1 in the tie-break, before Evans won four straight points. The match swung in Monfils’ favour at 5/5, when a net-rushing Evans left a backhand return that dropped in.
Monfils, No. 9 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, who came within one point of a 5-0 lead in the second set, closed out play with his eighth ace. It was his 11th victory in 13 matches this year, with the Frenchman winning his third Open Sud de France trophy last week (d. Pospisil).
He will next play Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who upset seventh-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev 7-6(2), 6-4. Krajinovic hasn't dropped a set this week and continues to excel indoors, having won 14 of his past 18 indoor matches dating back to last October. Monfils leads their ATP Head2Head series 2-0 and defeated the Serbian last week in the Montpellier semi-finals.
Krajinovic and Rublev traded service holds throughout the first set to force a tie-break, which saw the Serbian raise his level and win six consecutive points to take the early lead. He then broke Rublev in the opening game of the second set, but the Russian eventually evened the score to 4-4 by breaking his opponent with an aggressive forehand winner.
Krajinovic remained calm and broke right back in the next game with a forehand passing shot on the stretch. He served out the match on his first try to advance in one hour and 31 minutes, finishing the day with 27 winner to 25 unforced errors.
Rublev dropped to 13-2 in 2020. The 22-year-old opened his season with back-to-back titles last month in Doha (d. Moutet) and Adelaide (d. Harris).