Monfils Changes Gears To Reach Stockholm QFs

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2023

Monfils Changes Gears To Reach Stockholm QFs

Frenchman to face countryman Mannarino next

Gael Monfils broke Richard Gasquet’s record for most hard-court tour-level wins by a Frenchman by beating qualifier Filip Misolic 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday at the BNP Paribas Nordic Open in Stockholm. Monfils’ 356th hard-court victory set up a quarter-final showdown with second seed and countryman Adrian Mannarino.

The 37-year-old has now won four consecutive sets at the ATP 250, having battled back from a set down to defeat Marton Fucsovics in the opening round. Against Austria’s Misolic, Monfils hit 11 aces and lost just four points on first serve (31/35). He saved the only break point he faced in the one-hour, 13-minute win.

“Filip is playing a little bit more loopy than Marton,” Monfils said after advancing to his first indoor quarter-final in more than two years. “Of course he’s a solid player on both sides. But Marton was very aggressive, so today was about me controlling the points and mixing up the speeds. I think I’ve done good. I was in control so I’m very happy to win this match in two sets.”

Monfils will next face the 35-year-old Mannarino, who opened his Stockholm campaign with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Roman Safiullin. Mannarino, who entered Stockholm two spots off his career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking at World No. 24, was broken twice in the match but made up for it with four breaks of his own.

“It’s going to be a really tough one. Adrian is in great form, his best season,” said Monfils, who leads the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head 4-2. “He has a tricky game. I will have to play my game, try to be 100 per cent physically to have a strong, physical battle.”

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