An all-French match-up is set to take place in the semi-final stage of the Open Sud de France on Saturday evening, as defending champion Gael Monfils and two-time finalist Richard Gasquet clash for the twelfth time on the professional tour. Monfils leads the Head-to-Head series 7-4 and will look to extend that lead further with another win over his fellow countryman.
Seeded fourth at the tournament, Richard Gasquet barely broke a sweat in his straightforward encounter against Denis Istomin on Friday. The Frenchman defeated the sixth seed 6-2, 6-4 in 61 minutes to ease his way into the semi-final stage in Montpellier.
A two-time consecutive finalist at the tournament, Gasquet is pleased with his performance and anticipates an exciting clash against the defending champion.
“It was a good match for me,” said Gasquet. “I’m happy I won in two sets and that I’m now into the semis. I need to play a lot of matches to be confident again; I feel better and better.”
Unlike his fellow countryman, Gael Monfils had a somewhat difficult time on court against qualifier Steve Darcis, whom he defeated 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The contest lasted 1 hour and 44 minutes and saw the Frenchman scramble to save three break point and advance to the semi-final.
“He had a great start of the match and he imposed his rhythm,” said Monfils. “It took me some time to get used to it.
“I still feel sick; I’m physically weak. I hope it will stop soon, and I hope I can have a good night of sleep.”
This marks the twelfth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Monfils leading the head-to-head series 7-4. Monfils has not looked his best this week but seems to get the better of his countryman in their recent tussles. It will be interesting to see if Gasquet can take advantage of Monfils’ weakened state.
Prediction: Gael Monfils in Three Sets