Andreas Seppi stopped Gaël Monfils in 2012 Moselle Open semifinals after a great comeback. He will confront the winner of Tsonga-Davydenko clash in the Metz final.
Seventh-seeded Monfils had won all of the previous three head-to-head encounters against Seppi, the last one in 2010. The Frenchman covered the court with excellence in the opening set, getting to every possible ball and putting fifth seed Seppi under a constant pressure. The latter faced two break points at 1-2, but saved them with a well prepared net attack and a patient baseline exchange. In his next service game, however, he missed a backhand when 30-40 down which meant Monfils was a break up at 4-2. World No. 44 Frenchman then cruised through his following two services games and closed out the set without any further problems. Statistics revealed that Monfils has covered 480 meters of distance in the opener, around hundred meters more than this year’s Belgrade title holder Seppi.
Monfils was far more static in the set two, eventually allowing Seppi to generate a tripple break point opportunity at 2-1 with a powerful down-the-line forehand. Monfils climbed back to 30-40, but the Italian ultimately clinched a break by forcing his rival’s error. Seppi was a dominant on his serve in the set, winning all of his first serve points (13/13), while Monfils stayed below 50% efficiency on both first and second serve points. The Frenchman was on a back foot again at 4-1. Despite defending a break point at 30-40, the 28-year-old Italian produced another one with a net attack and a follow-up smash. Monfils then conceded and unforced error, and the set was over as a contest. It took Seppi twenty-five minutes to level the match at one set apiece.
The opening four games of the decider were rather quiet with both competitors clinging to their serves easily enough. Monfils then made a crucial double fault at 2-2 deuce, coupled by a subsequent forehand error, thus enabling Seppi an important break advantage. The Frenchman did not get into position to peg back until his 28th-ranked opponent was serving for the match at 5-4. In this dramatic game Monfils produced a double break point, but was unlucky to see the ball curl off the net into his side of the court after Seppi’s backhand, making the result 30-40 from serves point of view. Seppi remained patient during the following rally and waited for Monfils to miss a forehand. The Italian gifted his rival another break point by displacing a simple volley at the net. However, Monfils’s conservative approach did not pay off. Seppi sent back everything that came his way and won two consecutive points after La Monf’s mistakes. In the end, he disappointed the home crowd by smashing away the first match point for a scoreline 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 after one hour and forty-two minutes of turnarounds. Seppi reached his first Moselle Open final.
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