In the last match of the day, Gael Monfils and lucky loser Marcel Granollers faced each other for the fifth time at the ATP Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Their reward was a place in Saturdays semifinal. Frenchman Monfils eased past the Spaniard 6-2, 6-4.
Marcel Granollers led the head-to-head 3-1 against Monfils going into this match. Two of the wins were on indoor hard. Monfils started by breaking the Granollers serve. He consolidated for 2-0. The lucky loser would have to work hard to get his first game of the set by being pushed to deuce.
Four games later and Monfils would have a break point at 40-30. Granollers would hit a return short and Monfils pounced on it for 5-2 and a double break. The world number 16 raced away to a 40-0 lead before hitting an unreadable serve which was returned into the net.
Granollers fails to capitalize on opportunities
After holding his opening service game, Granollers came out storming and found himself with a break point. Monfils hit a forehand long and the Spaniard was up 0-2. He held his next game to love and sealed confirmation of the break. Two games later, Monfils would have his chance to get back in the set with a triple break point over the world number 67. Granollers saved one at the net, but couldn't save the other as Monfils hit a forehand that landed on the line.
In the upcoming game, Monfils held and the set was level at 3-3. Despite coming back, the Frenchman seemed to be running out of energy. With both holding their next game, Monfils ran away to a 40-0 lead and with Granollers stranded at the net, Monfils won the rally with a sublime passing shot and he had chance to serve out the match. Monfils ran away to a love service game and booked his spot in the semifinals.
Monfils hit one ace and one double-fault. He won 69 percent first serves, but was more successful on his second, winning 75 percent. Monfils failed to save the one break he faced against him, but did manage to convert 80 percent of his break points. He ended up winning 59 percent of total points.
Lucky loser Granollers also served one ace and one double fault. He won 59 percent of first serves and struggled on his second, winning only 45 percent. The Spaniard saved one break point from five giving him 20 percent. He broke on the only time he had a break point. He won 41 percent total points.
Gael Monfils will go up against compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals. Tsonga upset world number three Roger Federer earlier in the day by defeating him in three sets. This will be their seventh meeting in total. Their first meeting was back in 2008 at the Thailand Open Bangkok, which Tsonga won that meeting 6-0, 6-3. Monfils won their latest match 6-4, 7-6(4) at the ATP Miami Open less than a month ago.