Monfils, Zverev Setup Citi Open Semifinal Clash
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
In Friday night action at the 2016 Citi Open, Gael Monfils and Alexander Zverev setup a big semifinal clash scheduled for Saturday night, as both fan favorite players continued their good form this week, defeating Sam Querrey, and Benoit Paire respectively.
Monfils played a quick three set contest with Querrey, winning 6-4 3-6 6-1. Querrey showed tremendous power to hit through the ball and push Monfils off the court at times, but Monfils strong serving saved the day for him. The Frenchman got one break in the first set, and didn’t face any break points on his own serve. In the second, a push by Querrey got him a needed break, and he upped his own service consistency to force a third set. Monfils had an extra gear though, with the match on the line, he went 3-0 up in the third after saving two break point chances, and ended up rolling past Querrey, who faded late. Monfils superior movement, and comparable service skill on hard courts was enough to defeat Querrey, despite his best efforts.
Benoit Paire played a miserable contest, and Zverev dropped him with ease 6-1 6-3 in less than an hour. Paire got jumped by Zverev on his serve, and found himself broken three out of four times he served in the first set. In the second set, Zverev’s lethal baseline play continued, he put tremendous pressure on Paire’s serve and got the break he needed, dominating his own service games to walk away a routine victor. The young German has demonstrated he’s going to be a dark horse threat in later tournaments this summer, and remains in the running for his first ATP title.
In men’s doubles, Kubot/Peya defeated Johnson/Sock, and Kontinen/Peers ousted a tired Querrey and Chris Guccione in a tight second set tiebreak.
Johnson vs. Karlovic, and Zverev vs. Monfils are the men’s semifinals. The first semifinal should feature tiebreaks and a lot of big serving, while Monfils and Zverev are more likely to contest their match from the baseline and rally for winners. In Men’s doubles semifinal action, it will be Mergea/Tecau against Nestor/Roger-Vasselin, and Kubot/Peya vs. Kontinen/Peers as doubles specialists are the only remaining options for men’s doubles champion at the Citi Open.