Thrilling Monfils survives yet another five-setter

Fri May 29, 2015 4:33pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Although Gael Monfils would prefer to win his matches in routine fashion he cannot help but play thrilling five-setters at the French Open, advancing to the fourth round just before dusk on Friday.

The French showman, seeded 13th, featured in his sixth five-setter in 11 outings on the Roland Garros clay, beating Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 4-6 7-6 (1) 3-6 6-4 6-3.

It was also the 13th time Monfils had gone all the way at his home grand slam.

"I'd rather win in three sets," he told a news conference.

Monfils trailed 4-1 in the fourth set and seemed to be heading for defeat when Cuevas's arm suddenly tightened.

"At 4-1 I told myself 'we're going to take it point by point and if I can manage one break back he may start to overthink it," said the Frenchman.

Sensing a turn of events, the Suzanne Lenglen Court crowd got louder as Monfils won 12 out of 14 points in the last three games to send the tie into a deciding set.

The local favorite then broke for a 3-1 lead when Cuevas sent an easy smash long, and from that point he never looked back.   Continued...

Gael Monfils of France celebrates after beating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay during their men's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, May 29, 2015.  REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol