ROLAND GARROS 2014
Monfils, Murray Face Paris Rematch
by ATP Staff|
Gael Monfils and Andy Murray will reunite in Paris for the first time in four years after both players reached the Roland Garros quarter-finals for a fourth time with straight-sets victories over Spaniards on Monday.
"It's going to be an exciting match," said Murray. "I'm sure there will be some fun rallies. There always is when I have played against him.
"We haven't played against each other for quite a while, so I'm looking forward to it."
Monfils, who needed five sets to defeat Fabio Fognini in the third round, kept French title hopes alive as he ended Guillermo Garcia-Lopez’s run, 6-0, 6-2, 7-5. Garcia-Lopez had upset reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round.
Watch Murray vs. Verdasco Highlights (Courtesy: French Tennis Federation)
The No. 23 seed raced through the first two sets in just 54 minutes as he capitalised on five of his six break point chances. He took the decisive break in the 64-minute third set to go up 6-5, and punctuated the victory with an ace on his second match point. The victory snapped his six-match losing streak against Spanish opponents.
"I tried to be extremely accurate to make tactical choices in a very accurate way," said Monfils. "I thought it went well. Every day, I gather more steam and power, and every time I win, then I improve and I play better."
Murray needed close to three hours to get by No. 24 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-5, 7-6(3), but it proved a far more straightforward affair to his match spanning the weekend, when he prevailed against Philipp Kohlschreiber in a 12-10 fifth set.
"I was tired after the match against Kohlschreiber," admitted Murray, who finished Monday's match with 35 winners to 50 unforced errors. "I thought I dictated as many points as I could today. It's not always possible, because you're playing against top tennis players. He's got a lot of firepower as well. Did a good job of that."
He improved to a 10-1 record against Verdasco, and also extended his streak of quarter-final appearances to 13 straight Grand Slam appearances.
Murray holds a 3-2 lead over Monfils in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but the Frenchman has defeated the Scot the two previous times they met in Paris. In 2006 at Roland Garros, he rallied from down two sets to one to win their first-round match. In their last encounter, four years ago in the BNP Paribas Masters quarter-finals, he again won in a decisive set.
"He won Wimbledon, so for sure mentally it will be different for him," said Monfils. "He has proved that on clay he's a tough opponent, too."
The two 27 year olds will be looking to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals for a second time. Monfils achieved his best Grand Slam result here in 2008 (l. to Federer). Murray reached the final four at the clay-court major in 2011 (l. to Nadal).
"We grew up pretty much together," said Monfils. "It's been a long time I know him, and it's always fun to play against him."
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