BRD NASTASE TIRIAC TROPHY 2014
Monfils Opens Campaign; Haase Sets Istomin Clash
by ATP Staff|
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.
Watch Bucharest Ungur-Istomin Highlights
"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.
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