Monfils Stops Zverev In Rotterdam; Kohlschreiber Ousts Cilic
Monfils, Kohlschreiber to play for spot in Rotterdam final
Before Gael Monfils stepped on the court Friday night at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, three seeded players had already fallen in their quarter-final matches.
“I tried not to think about it,” said the fifth-seeded Frenchman. “I know that every match is tough. I knew I had a tough opponent tonight so I was focused only on this game.”
Up against 18-year-old Sascha Zverev, who upset Gilles Simon the previous day, Monfils prevailed 7-6(4), 6-3 to match his best result in Rotterdam (2009). Monfils saved seven of eight break points faced during the one-hour, 34-minute match.
“He was playing very [well],” said Monfils. “It’s already a good sign for him to be in the quarters, so I knew I would have to fight. He beat Gilles in the round before, so I expected a tough match and I think he gave it to me, so I was pleased with my performance today.”
Had Zverev won the tournament, he would have overtaken Borna Coric for the honour of being the highest-ranked teen on the ATP World Tour.
Monfils will next face Philipp Kohlschreiber, who scored his best win of 2016 by upsetting second seed Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The German, No. 32 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is enjoying his best run in Rotterdam (QFs 2007 and 2014) and improves to 6-3 on the year.
Cilic fired 15 aces in the two-hour, nine-minute encounter, but Kohlschreiber frequently extended the Croat’s service games and converted two of nine break points to advance to his first semi-final of the year.
“It was a very close match from the beginning,” said the German. “First set and second set, I think he was the stronger player and had more opportunities. He put a little more pressure on my service game, and I think it was very important to stay in the match. I had some tough situations, managed to come through, and finally I played a very good returning game and got the break, and it lifted my game and my confidence to another level.”
Monfils leads Kohlschreiber 11-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.