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Berdych, Monfils Reach Montpellier QFs

Montpellier, France

Berdych© Open Sud de FranceTomas Berdych was playing his first match since reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals.

World No. 7 Tomas Berdych required just 56 minutes to beat No. 142-ranked Florent Serra 6-0, 6-2 on Thursday for a place in the Open Sud de France quarter-finals.

Berdych dropped 12 points on serve - saving all three break points he faced - and hit nine aces. It was his first match since reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Nadal).

The Czech will next challenge France's Nicolas Mahut, who knocked out sixth seed Florian Mayer of Germany 7-6(3), 6-3 in 83 minutes. It was their first meeting in almost three years, since the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

Returning champion Gael Monfils, the No. 3 seed, fired 17 aces and won 84 per cent of points behind his first serve to close out a 6-3, 6-3 win over American Michael Russell.

The Frenchman won this ATP World Tour 250 tournament in October 2010 in its inaugural year in Montpellier (d. Ljubicic).

Monfils will play eighth seed Jarkko Nieminen for a place in the semi-finals after the Finn defeated French wild card Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6(4), 6-1. Nieminen claimed his second ATP World Tour title last month in Sydney (d. Benneteau).

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