Gael Monfils was left deflated after his quarter-final defeat to the world number two Novak Djokovic, only a day after his heroics against former world number one Roger Federer.
However, whilst he was able to take the Swiss player out in three sets, he wasn't able to repeat the feat, even though a first set tie break success gave him a 7-6 (7-4), lead in the contest. He wasn't able to make this last though, because in the second set, Monfils couldn't find the intensity, allowing Djokovic to level the tie.
The game then stood at one set all and was pushed into a last set decider. This was similar to the first set, as the game remained tight, neither player wanting their grasp on the tie to slip.
Monfils was the man who blinked first though, losing his serve and giving his dangerous Serbian opponent the lead in the set, allowing him to come back and hold serve to complete a comeback and win the match 6-7(4-7), 6-2, 6-4.
In a game lasting two hours and 23 minutes, Monfils became increasingly distracted by a dispute with the Umpire. Following a slip in the second set, Monfils was warned about slow play, as the slip caused injury to his stomach muscles causing pain when serving. As a result, he slowed played to allow the pain to ease, a move that the umpire wasn’t going to allow.
This injury too meant that his chances of claiming a victory over Djokovic were severely hindered, with his serve not being the weapon that it was in the first set, meaning that their head-to-head is 10-0 in favour of the Serbian.
Elsewhere, the conqueror of David Ferrer, the German Florian Mayer, was dispatched by Jo Wilfried Tsonga in clinical fashion, taking the match 6-2, 6-3, a crucial win for the Frenchman, as it moved him up into the final qualifying spot for the ATP Tour Finals.
Rafael Nadal came through a tight opening set against the Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka, taking a mammoth tie-break 12-10. This appeared to have ended the fight in Wawrinka who capitulated in the second set, losing 6-1, sealing Nadal’s spot in the Semi-finals. He will face the big Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro in the next round, as he dispatched of Nicholas Almagro 6-3, 6-3.
These results mean that alongside the already qualified Nadal, Djokovic and Ferrer, the players currently holding qualifying spots are Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Wawrinka, Federer and Tsonga. However, there are 2 remaining tournaments and so it is likely there will be change within this positions before the Finals in November.
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