MOSELLE OPEN 2012
Monfils, Tsonga Delight Home Fans; Davydenko Saves M.P.
by ATP Staff|
Gael Monfils continued to impress on his comeback to the ATP World Tour on Friday at the Moselle Open in Metz. The seventh-seeded Frenchman, who is playing his first tournament in almost four months, battled past second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals.
Former World No. 7 Monfils has dropped down to No. 44 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings after suffering a knee injury that forced him to endure a sustained spell on the sidelines. The 26 year old won this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament on his last appearance in 2009 (d. Kohlschreiber) and was runner-up in 2005 (l. to Ljubicic).
Monfils goes onto face World No. 28 Andreas Seppi, who advanced to his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the season as he finished strongly to beat fourth seed Florian Mayer 7-5, 6-2. The Italian won 97 per cent of points behind his first serve and broke Mayer four times to clinch victory in 61 minutes.
The 28-year-old Seppi has reached two ATP World Tour finals this season, capturing his second title in Belgrade (d. Paire) and losing out to Andy Roddick in Eastbourne.
Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga returned to the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Jesse Levine. The top seed converted three of his 14 break points to advance past the American in one hour and 34 minutes.
The seventh-ranked Tsonga is looking to win his second title in 2012 after starting the season by triumphing in Doha (d. Monfils). He has a 43-17 match record and is No. 8 in the Race To London which determines the eight qualifying players to the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
For a place in Sunday’s title match, Tsonga will play eighth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko. The Russian wild card saved a match point in a second tie-break before turning the tables against Ivo Karlovic to prevail 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-0. In the final set, Davydenko won 80 per cent of his service points and broke Karlovic three times from five opportunities to notch his seventh win in eight meetings against the Croat.
In beating Karlovic, Davydenko recorded his 450th career match win. He equalled his best showing of the year, following semi-final runs in Rotterdam (l. to Federer) and Nice (l. to Baker). The holder of 21 ATP World Tour titles, Davydenko is aiming to reach his first final since capturing the trophy in Munich last year.