Monfils Makes Third Round

Gael Monfils booked his spot in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Wednesday as he defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-4.

The 13th-seeded Frenchman advanced in 73 minutes on Court Ranier III, breaking his opponent four times in the pair’s second meeting (Monfils leads 2-0). It marked Monfils’ 17th win of the season.

“I believe I played well,” said Monfils. “As soon as I was getting less intense, he was immediately stepping up. I knew I had to maintain this intensity for the whole match.”

The 29 year old is coming off back-to-back quarter-final showings in Indian Wells (l. to Raonic) and Miami (l. to Nishikori) and also reached the final eight at the Australian Open (l. to Raonic) as well as finishing runner-up in Rotterdam (l. to Klizan).

Monfils was a semi-finalist at the Monte-Carlo Country Club last year (l. to Berdych) and goes on to face Jiri Vesely, who earlier stunned World No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic.

“What will happen tomorrow might be more complicated because he just beat the No. 1 in the world,” said Monfils. “In that case he must feel very confident and he must be boosted by this victory. I’ll have to be very good during the whole match.”

David Goffin battled past Fernando Verdasco in two hours and 30 minutes, prevailing 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(1). The third set featured six service breaks and saw Goffin save match point as Verdasco served for the contest at 5-4, before eventually claiming victory in the tie-break.

“It was a difficult match,” said Goffin. “He was playing well. He was into his match. He was solid. It was a bit complicated for me. Several times I went out of the match. The conditions were tough for me. But I was lucky that I won it. I hope I’ll do better tomorrow. I’m happy that I won.

“I was able to keep fighting until the end of the third set,” continued Goffin, who just reached successive Masters 1000 semi-finals in Indian Wells and Miami. “Even if I was down a break several times, I was able to fight back. It paid off.”

In an all-French contest, wild card Lucas Pouille upset ninth seed Richard Gasquet 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in two hours and 14 minutes. Meanwhile, in the final match of the day, lucky loser Marcel Granollers, who took David Ferrer’s place in the draw, battled past 18-year-old Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

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