Monfils, Tsonga in French charge to Open quarters
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tenth seed Gael Monfils motored into the U.S. Open quarter-finals with a straight-sets dismissal of Marcos Baghdatis on Sunday launching a French charge at the year's last grand slam championship.
Monfils, who has enjoyed a run of success this hard court season, maintained his impressive form with a 6-3 6-2 6-3 romp that kicked off a busy day for the French men's contingent.
Ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga followed Monfils' lead and booked his berth in the last eight with a 6-3 6-3 6-7(7) 6-2 victory over American 26th seed Jack Sock.
Promising young Lucas Pouille, the 24th seed, was the last of a French trio to hit the court in the fourth round, facing fourth-seeded, 14-times grand slam singles winner Rafa Nadal.
Asked who was favorite heading into the second week at Flushing Meadows, Monfils named the world's top three.
"I think (there) is no question about that. It's Novak (Djokovic) I think. Novak is the favorite. And then you get Andy (Murray) also. Then you get Stan (Wawrinka)."
Monfils, playing a familiar foe in Cypriot Baghdatis, was well prepared for his last 16 test and executed his game plan.
"He's a good friend, I've known him for a long time," said the 30-year-old Monfils. "We had many battles in the juniors and we have had many also on the senior tour. Continued...