Monfils Reaches Double Figures With Dubai Victory
Rublev through in straight sets
The third seed needed just under two hours to record his sixth victory in nine matches at the ATP 500 tournament. Monfils, who reached the semi-finals at this event last year, improves to 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Fucsovics.
“I think [the reason for my winning streak is] fighting. I fought hard,” said Monfils. “I still believed, even though I played very bad.”
Monfils has won 14 of his 16 matches this year, highlighted by trophies earlier this month in Montpellier and Rotterdam. The only players to beat the Frenchman this year are Australian Open finalists Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem. Monfils will meet Yasutaka Uchiyama or Yen-Hsun Lu in the second round.
“Last year, I had a great run,” said Monfils. “I had fantastic matches here. Hopefully, for my next match, I will show you much better.”
Andrey Rublev began his own bid for a third title of 2020 with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Lorenzo Musetti. The sixth seed won 84 per cent of first-serve points (26/31) to earn his 14th victory in 16 matches this season.
The 22-year-old made an impressive start to the season with title runs in Doha and Adelaide, becoming the first man since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to open the year with two ATP Tour trophies in as many weeks. Since the start of the year, Rublev has risen nine positions to a career-high No. 14 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
The four-time ATP Tour titlist will meet Joao Sousa or Filip Krajinovic for a place in the quarter-finals. Rublev has reached the quarter-finals or better in three of his four tournament appearances this year.
Two-time semi-finalist Richard Gasquet also advanced on Monday. The 33-year-old withstood 13 aces to beat Lloyd Harris 7-6(5), 6-4. Gasquet will face countryman Benoit Paire or former World No. 3 Marin Cilic in the second round.