A first time encounter between local favourite Gael Monfils and budding talent Joao Sousa takes place in the second round of the Open Sud de France on Thursday afternoon. Both competitors will be looking for a spot in the quarter-final stage of the tournament.
Fifth seed Gael Monfils needed three sets to get the victory over Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the opening round of the Open Sud de France on Wednesday afternoon. The Frenchman saved six of the seven break points he faced to earn the victory in just under two hours and improve to a 13-3 record at this tournament. The 2010 champion has had several successful runs in Montpellier, including finishing runner up in 2005 and 2012, and will be looking to replicate those efforts this year as he chases his first title since 2011 at the If Stockholm Open.
Monfils goes on to face Portugal’s Joao Sousa for a spot in the quarter-final round.
The world No. 50 rallied from a set down to topple Tobias Kamke 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 44 minutes. The win marked his first ATP World Tour victory of the season. Prior to this win he had lost in the opening round in Sydney, Melboure and Doha bringing him to a 1-3 record in 2014. The Portuguese No. 1 won his maiden ATP World Tour title last season and will be looking to add to that accolade this season.
This is the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. Monfils will have the advantage in experience and court savvy, as well as the support of the local French crowd, but Sousa is more than capable of edging out one set to force a deciding set.
Prediction: Gael Monfils in Three Sets