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  • Monfils' comeback gains steam with win over Kohlschreiber

    1/3/13 4:58 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Monfils' comeback gains steam with win over Kohlschreiber Gael Monfils defeats Philipp Kohlschreiber in three sets on Wednesday in Doha. Monfils is through to a quarterfinal meeting with Daniel Brands.


    Rumors as dire as retirement swirled around Gael Monfils during the offseason. Three days into his 2013 campaign, those ideas seem like distant memories.

    Monfils continued his run at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Wednesday afternoon with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over third-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber. The Frenchman improved to 8-1 lifetime against Kohlschreiber after two hours and three minutes.

    Excluding a hiccup in the second set during which Monfils dropped serve twice and won a mere four return points, the former world No. 7 came up clutch at the crucial moments. He broke his opponent at 5-4 in both the first and the third sets. Monfils fought off three break points early in the decisive frame of play before striking in the 10th game, converting match point when Kohlschreiber netted a backhand.

    "In the start, (Kohlschreiber) was very aggressive," said Monfils, who assured that his knees are 100 percent. "And honestly, I was a bit scared because I saw the ball going very fast, and I was expecting long rallies. I had to adapt, change my tactic.

    "And that's why I think I became more aggressive. I tried to play a bit more loopy in the end to give me time and make him play up there, because he had very, very clean winners when I was playing under his belt."

    Next up for the world No. 77 is Daniel Brands, who ousted wild card Mohamed Safwat 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.


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