Monfils slips past Tomic
Bernard Tomic has let slip an opportunity to claim another top 10 scalp, relinquishing a break of serve in the final set to go down to France’s Gael Monfils at the Stockholm Open.
Monfils stayed in the hunt for a place at the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals with the win, downing world No.44 Tomic 6-4 6-7(4) 6-4.
The top-seeded Monfils, and last man standing in the leading four at the Kungligahallen, trailed by a break in the third set before breaking the Australian teenager for 4-all.
He then sealed a 5-4 lead with his 18th ace before reaching the quarterfinals on his third match point.
Tomic had downed the eighth ranked Mardy Fish in Shanghai last week but couldn’t finish off the job on Monfils who is competing for the first time in a fortnight after a knee injury suffered in Bangkok.
Monfils is one of the last possible contenders in the points race to reach the eight-man World Tour Finals in London from November 20, with a provisional place of 15th.
The flamboyant French player has three more tournaments this season, giving him chances to rise in the table.
“I hope to finish the year very strong,” he said.
“It was a tough battle tonight. He’s a good young player, I needed time to adjust after time away. I had a big drop in the second set, but I’d been playing well until then.
“I need a few more matches before I can win in straight sets. I need to improve my concentration, but I did a pretty good job today.”
Monfils will play South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson for a place in the semi-finals.