Gael Monfils extended his winning streak to six matches versus Fabio Fognini in the ATP 250 event in Nice, marking a successful return from injury.
Monfils was once ranked among the seven best players of the world (2008), and was a huge threat to any opponent. As the years passed by, he has ben troubled by injuries, unfortunately, and therefore the charismatic Frenchman now finds himself outside the top 100.
However, in the last couple of days he has taken one big step in the right direction. He made the decision to play a challenger-tournament in Bordeaux last week, which he won facing a couple of high quality opponents. Even though it was a challenger-tournament, it still was a great achievement for the Frenchman and also his first title in many years.
This week, he returned to the ATP-tour level playing in Nice. He began by beating Santiago Giraldo in the first round in three sets and moreover, yesterday, he won against the very much in-form Italian Fabio Fognini in straight sets.
He thereby followed three other fellow countrymen into the quarter-finals with only a week until the second Grand Slam of the year starting in Paris.
Earlier the same day, fourth-seed John Isner played the Dutchman Robin Haase. Isner who started of the clay court season of 2013 by winning his first ever title on the surface, in Houston, surprisingly lost in three sets even though breaking Haase four times and serving 14 aces. The match ended 6-4 1-6 7-5 in just under two hours.
Haase and Monfils will now face each other in the quarter-finals, with the Frenchman leading their head-to-head 1-0 after winning their only previous meeting in Barcelona 2011.
Last years semi-finalist, Gilles Simon, also entered the tournament on Wednesday facing fellow countryman Guillermo Rufin.
The second-seeded Simon made no mistakes and won easily 6-3 6-4 and will therefore set up a clash with the Spaniard. Pablo Andujar, who reached the semis of Madrid two weeks ago, yesterday demolished Chinese Yen Hsun-Lu 6-0 6-2.
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