Gael Monfils will be hoping to be joining his girlfriend Elina Svitolina as a US Open semi-finalist when he takes to the court on Wednesday afternoon. He will be favoured against Matteo Berrettini, one of the men’s tours most improved players in 2019.
With Berrettini’s form in 2019, there were high hopes for him when it came to a slam. An incredibly disappointing outing against Roger Federer at Wimbledon looks not to have done too much damage as he has bounced back in New York with a run to at least the quarter finals. He was in control against Andrey Rublev, defeating the Russian in straight sets. There was a blip when he failed to serve out the match but he picked up the third set tiebreak to eventually move on.
There was no messing about from Monfils, who was off the court swiftly in his courth round match. He needed less than 90 mins to beat Pablo Andujar for the loss of just five games, never being troubled by the Spaniard who is far more at home on clay. “Everything I did tonight was working. I think my game plan was good. I was moving good. I hit big the balls. I was in the game plan,” Monfils said.
It will be far tougher for the Frenchman in the quarter finals, taking on an opponent who serves big and strikes the ball cleanly. “He’s got a big serve. Crushes the forehand. He’s a great athlete. Great mover for his height. Tough one, someone who hits big from the back. Uses his serve and his forehand,” Monfils said of his opponent. He made his first semi final at this tournament, beating Roger Federer along the way. This run won’t be as impressive on paper but it would be a major achievement for him to return there.
Prediction – Gael Monfils in four sets