June 5, 2017 / 4:23 PM / 2 years ago

Resilient Wawrinka ends French men's challenge to reach last eight

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2017 Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka celebrates after winning his third round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini Reuters / Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Stan Wawrinka’s array of shots was too much to handle for a resurgent Gael Monfils as the 2015 champion reached the French Open quarter-finals with a 7-5 7-6(7) 6-2 victory on Monday.

The Swiss third seed had been a break down in the opening set but ultimately played tighter when it mattered while Monfils, who has been struggling with injuries this season, looked at times out of sorts.

The exit of 15th-seeded Monfils means France’s search for a male champion here will go into a 35th year. Their last men’s singles winner at Roland Garros was Yannick Noah in 1983.

“Stan was better than I was today,” a dejected Monfils reflected. “He was able to seize all opportunities. He was able to do more things and pick up, you know, the sets.

“I don’t like to lose. Especially not at Roland Garros. I had many opportunities, and it’s unfortunate. I wasn’t able to seize these opportunities. So of course, yeah, I am disappointed.”

Wawrinka, who has reached the last eight of the tournament without dropping a set, next takes on Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic for a place in the last four.

“It was tough conditions, a lot of tension because we know each other so well, and so I am happy to get through this match,” Wawrinka said.

“I was expecting him to have a lot of support, but I thought the crowd were very fair, and I am happy with everything.

Lookng ahead to his next opponent, the Swiss added: “Marin is playing very well here, playing very aggressive. We had some battles in the past, I think it is going to be important for me to prepare well, serve well, and dictate from the baseline.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ken Ferris

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