Federer wins in straights, Monfils loses after holding match points

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It was a fairly straight forward day for the Swiss with both Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka winning in straight sets. Federer defeated a slightly injured Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-4 7-5. Benneteau actually struck first, breaking in the opening game of the match but Federer hit back quickly to tie it up at 2-2. He took control with some excellent tennis to finish the set, winning 18 of the last 22 points in the set to go 1-0 up. Service games ended quickly and break chances were at a minimum throughout. Federer needed just a single break in both sets, taking both break point chances on opportunity to end it in just over 90 minutes.

Wawrinka wasn’t broken once in his 6-2 7-6 6-4 victory over Horacio Zeballos, closing out the match today after it was halted due to the rain midway through the third set on Thursday. Despite having more break chances, Zeballos could not convert while the first set saw his opponent break twice to go a set up. Neither had a chance in the second on return so a tiebreak would be needed to decide the set, with Wawrinka winning three points on return on his way to a 7-2 tie break victory. The match would be postponed in the third until today and  the Swiss was soon called into action – having to hold from 0-40. Zeballos would fail to hold serving to stay in the match at *4-5 as Wawrinka ended the match swiftly.

Gael Monfils’ matches have been the highlight of the men’s tournament so far and this one was no different – the Frenchman managing to lose from two sets up to Tommy Robredo 2-6 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-2. After defeating Tomas Berdych and Ernests Gulbis to make it this far, Monfils was a strong favourite to win this match and certainly looked like it as he took a two set lead. The Frenchman’s level dropped in the third and Robredo took advantage of it as he pulled himself back into the match with an easy third set win.

It looked like Robredo would push the match to a decider but Monfils would strike first in the fourth, breaking and holding for a 5-3 lead. Match points went on the Robredo serve but Monfils had 2 chances to take it on his own but he would be broken from 40-15 and that would be all for the Frenchman. Robredo held to secure at least a tie break but it looked like he may not need one when he went 30-0 up on the Monfils serve. He couldn’t convert but would earn the first minibreak of the tiebreak, holding it until the end and converting his first set point on return.

Both players began to look tired but it was Monfils who was suffering more, having played another three hours on top of the last two and a half weeks of non-stop tennis. Robredo broke twice as he eased his way through the fifth set to secure a hard-fought victory against the home favourite.

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