Elastic Frenchman Gael Monfils has extinguished Andy Roddick's hope of making it to the quarterfinals and has set up a clash with an out of sorts Roger Federer in the French Open. It was Roddick's best showing at Roland Garros after improving his third round appearance in 2001.
Roddick was out played in all departments of the game where he capitulated 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to the Frenchman. A comprehensive victory for the France native where he was in control of the entire match right from the word go.
First couple of games went on serve before Monfils broke Roddick. He went on to capture the first set 6-2. Second set was when Monfils started getting into the match trying his drop shots and lobs whenever possible. Roddick tried to throw whatever he can at the Paris native, but Monfils was in good form throughout the match.
Roddick had a head start at the beginning of the third set when he broke in the third game to gain a 2-1 lead. Monfils immediately broke back Roddick's service game and leveled the scores.
The Frenchman was able to find his range of shots from the back of the baseline and Roddick was seen missing easy overhead volleys into the net. Roddick was broken and Monfils was leading 5-3 in the third.
When the American was serving to stay in the match, he hit two back to back unforced errors to trail the score by 15-30. A screaming inside out winner had given two match points to the Frenchman.
Monfils was able to convert his first match point to make it through to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year when the American dumped an easy volley yet again into the net.
He now faces the No. 2 seed who scraped through a five setter against Tommy Haas after trailing in the first two sets. It should set up a mouth-watering contest between the two, for Federer is chasing his 14th Grand Slam title with the top contenders out of the tournament.
It was in the semifinals last year that Monfils lost to the Swiss native in a tight four set match.
With the crowd strongly behind the local boy, Federer should tighten up his screws if he wants to make most of the opportunities that was presented to him in a platter.
Any traces of the lethargic performance he had displayed against Haas will be magnified by the rubber Frenchman. The energy shown by Federer with his ecstatic leap at the end of his previous match is what is needed to send the message to Monfils for the entire duration of his quarterfinal encounter.
Monfils, with his undying spirit to chase every ball, knows a thing or two on how to get the support behind him with his captivating on-court theatrics.