• Hamburg- Monfils, Simon headline all-French quarter

    7/22/11 3:14 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Hamburg- Monfils, Simon headline all-French quarter Fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon will face off Friday afternoon, looking to make the final four in Hamburg. The two are joined in quarterfinal-round action by Mikhail Youzhny, who faces Marin Cilic.

    (1) Gael Monfils vs. (5) Gilles Simon

    Top seed Gael Monfils trails fifth seed Gilles Simon 0-1 lifetime, having lost their only previous meeting via retirement in 2009. Friday signals their first clash on clay.

    Monfils advanced to the last eight after taking out veteran Radek Stepanek in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. The 24-year-old looks to make his first semifinal since June, when he reached the final four in Halle.

    World No. 18 Gilles Simon survived a challenging third round, where he held on to defeat Jarkko Nieminen in three sets, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4. The 26-year-old is bidding for his first semifinal since January, when he completed a title-winning run in Sydney.

    Prediction: Monfils in three sets.

    (4) Mikhail Youzhny vs. (12) Marin Cilic

    Fourth seed Mikhail Youzhny holds a 4-1 series advantage against 12th seed Marin Cilic, entering into the quarterfinal. The Croat took the last match, having won a three-set semifinal in Marseille.

    Youzhny took out hometown wildcard Julian Reister in the round of 16, 6-3, 6-3. The 29-year-old Russian remains on course to make his second semi in 2011.

    World No. 32 Marin Cilic rallied to defeat German wildcard Tobias Kamke in the third round. After dropping the opening set, the 22-year-old fought back to seal a two-hour, five-minute victory, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. He will attempt to book his second semifinal of the season early Friday.

    Prediction: Youzhny in straight sets.

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