By Chris Oddo | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Gael Monfils overcame a mid-match meltdown to take down Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets on Day 9.
Photo Source: AP
Gael Monfils continued his fine form at this year’s US Open by taking out 7th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6(6), 7-5. In extremely hot, humid conditions, Monfils saved two set points in a second-set tiebreaker to take control of the match.
It was one of Monfils’ most steady and business-like performances of the season, but it was not without drama.
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“I'm just happy because today I was a bit lucky,” said Monfils. “It's one point, it's two points, and today I think I was able to have more luck than him.” The Frenchman has not dropped a set in five matches in New York, and will face either Roger Federer or Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinals.
For Dimitrov, who missed an easy forehand on his first set point in the second-set tiebreaker that might have changed the complexion of the match, the setback appeared to be too much for him to overcome. He missed early and often with his forehand, and he also failed to capitalize on a double-break opportunity early in the third set at a time when Monfils was struggling to walk, let alone defend.
“He's a tricky opponent,” said Dimitrov. “I must say I give all the credit to him today.”
Monfils reaches his first US Open quarterfinal since 2010 with the win, and he has reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals in the same season for the first time in his career as well.
At 4-4 in the second set, after being broken in the previous game, Monfils became irate about some mystery annoyance that nobody seemed to know about except him. He tanked a point (see video above), and looked to be temporarily losing his wits.
“Second set, yeah, I just get a bit pissed,” Monfils said. “It's nothing against anyone. I was upset.” That wasn’t all the strange that we saw from Monfils, as he appeared to be close to passing out for the first few games of the third set. There were points were he wouldn’t move at all, but miraculously the ball would come back off of Dimitrov’s racquet right into his strike zone.
After wiggling out of a double-break down situation early in the third set, Monfils wasn’t tested again on serve.
Dimitrov, who had troubles finding his form all day, lamented the loss. “It was a very poor match for me,” he said. “Didn't play as close to the way I wanted to, and I think it was a great stage for me to come out on there on the center court and perform my best.”