9/26/12 7:44 PM | Ricky Dimon
Gael Monfils holds off Kevin Anderson in three sets on Wednesday in Bangkok. Jarkko Nieminen also wins, earning a spot in the quarterfinals after defeating Philipp Petzschner.
Gael Monfils d. (Q) Kevin Anderson 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
Monfils kicked off his Bangkok Open campaign by beating Anderson in two hours and 25 minutes on Wednesday afternoon. The 45th-ranked Frenchman returned to tennis last week after a four-month layoff to reach the Metz semifinals, and he just barely managed to maintain some momentum. It started well for Monfils, whose second break of the match came at 5-4 to close out the first set in style.
Anderson fought back in the second as his opponent seemed to mentally gear up for a third. The 6'8'' South African saved all five of the break points he faced during the set before serving it out at 5-2. After exchanging breaks in the decider, Anderson cracked with the pressure on at 5-6. Monfils broke to clinch victory and book a second-round date with Viktor Troicki.
(7) Jarkko Nieminen d. Philipp Petzschner 7-6(1), 6-2
Nieminen abused Petzschner's serve to the tune of 13 break chances and five breaks as he advanced to the quarterfinals in one hour and 28 minutes. Petzschner at least made it competitive until the last six games of the match, forcing a tiebreaker in the first. The 107th-ranked German, however, lost it seven points to one and never really recovered.
For Nieminen, dropping the first two games of the second was nothing more than a minor hiccup. Bangkok's No. 7 seed and 2010 runner-up promptly reeled off six straight to surge into the quarters. Nieminen wrapped up his effort with one ace and no double-faults while serving at 72 percent. He awaits either Milos Raonic or Ivo Karlovic.
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