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Monfils Changes Gears To Reach Stockholm QFs

Machac downs Wawrinka
October 19, 2023
Gael Monfils hits 11 aces in the Stockholm second round. By ATP Staff

Gael Monfils broke Richard Gasquet's record for most hard-court tour-level wins by a Frenchman by beating qualifier Filip Misolic 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday at the BNP Paribas Nordic Open in Stockholm. Monfils' 356th hard-court victory set up a quarter-final showdown with second seed and countryman Adrian Mannarino.

The 37-year-old has now won four consecutive sets at the ATP 250, having battled back from a set down to defeat Marton Fucsovics in the opening round. Against Austria's Misolic, Monfils hit 11 aces and lost just four points on first serve (31/35). He saved the only break point he faced in the one-hour, 13-minute win.

"Filip is playing a little bit more loopy than Marton," Monfils said after advancing to his first indoor quarter-final in more than two years. "Of course he's a solid player on both sides. But Marton was very aggressive, so today was about me controlling the points and mixing up the speeds. I think I've done good. I was in control so I'm very happy to win this match in two sets."

Monfils will next face the 35-year-old Mannarino, who opened his Stockholm campaign with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Roman Safiullin. Mannarino, who entered Stockholm two spots off his career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking at World No. 24, was broken twice in the match but made up for it with four breaks of his own.

"It's going to be a really tough one. Adrian is in great form, his best season," said Monfils, who leads the pair's Lexus ATP Head2Head 4-2. "He has a tricky game. I will have to play my game, try to be 100 per cent physically to have a strong, physical battle."

Tomas Machac is also through to the quarter-finals after a 6-4, 6-1 win against Stan Wawrinka. The Czech saved all three break points against him to earn his second Top 50 win and reach his second tour-level quarter-final.

The 23-year-old also reached the quarters earlier this season on the clay of Houston, where he was beaten by Yannick Hanfmann. He will meet Elias Ymer on Friday after the Swede's 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win againsst Dino Prizmic

Wawrinka's defeat snapped a 17-match winning streak for the Swiss against Czech opponents.

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