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Monfils Opens Campaign; Haase Sets Istomin Clash

Bucharest 2014

Haase© Raed KrishanRobin Haase upset second seed Mikhail Youzhny.

Third seed Gael Monfils opened his BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy campaign with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis on Thursday in Bucharest. The Frenchman reached the quarter-finals in 59 minutes, hitting seven aces and breaking serve four times.

The 27-year-old Monfils is looking to bounce back this week after a second-round exit in Monte-Carlo (l. to Carreno Busta). The right-hander is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season, having lifted the trophy in Montpellier (d. Gasquet). He also finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Doha.

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"It was very tough conditions, cold, windy, so the court was very heavy," explained Monfils. "I think it was tough to hit winners. I was very happy today that I got through the match. I struggled a bit in the second set. He had two opportunities to break me. It wasn't easy. I hope tomorrow is going to be better, but I heard not, so I need to be prepared for tough conditions again."

Monfils goes on to face countryman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who beat Romanian wild card Marius Copil 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes. Monfils has won his past two meetings with Mathieu, levelling their FedEx ATP Head2Head series at 2-2.

Playing without a coach for the first time in his career, Robin Haase is through to the quarter-finals after upsetting second seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-3.

The Dutchman will look to reach his first semi-final since October 2013, when he was runner-up in Vienna (l. to Haas). He faces Denis Istomin on Friday. Istomin finished strongly after losing the first set to home hope Adrian Ungur, dropping just three more games in a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory in one hour and 44 minutes.

Rain delayed the start of play by more than three hours Thursday. 

Murray/Peers Reach Semis
Fourth seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Daniele Bracciali and Andreas Seppi in 53 minutes. The British/Australian duo were also semi-finalists two weeks ago in Casablanca and are chasing their fourth ATP World Tour team title, after capturing three trophies together last year.

Third seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski were given a walkover into the semi-finals when the team of Julian Knowle and Vasek Pospisil was forced to withdraw due to an injury to Pospisil.

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