Monfils wins French Affair

Gael Monfils defeated fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the US Open on Tuesday.

The tenth seed ended Pouille’s dream run in New York, beating him 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 on the hard courts of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.

It was a game dominated by Monfils’ accurate serving, as he won 85 percent of his first serve points, while his opponent tried to force the result.

After a cagey start, Monfils would break serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. He continued his superb serving to close out the set having lost just one point on his own serve.

Monfils stood extremely deep past the base-line on Pouille’s serve, forcing the world number 25 to make tough choices.

The pressure continued in the second set, as Pouille saved two break points early on but crumbled in his second service game as Monfils took a 3-1 lead.

There was a 15 minute delay as the brand new 800 ton roof was wheeled closed, a delay that favoured Pouille.

But the 22-year-old was unable to stem Monfils’ power game after the break and would get broken to love in the final game of the set.

A frustrated Pouille continued to rack up the unforced errors – 44 in all – as he tried to force the issue. Monfils would take advantage of the only break point he got in the final set as a served his way to his second ever grand slam semi-final.

The loss ends a thrilling run from Pouille, who defeated 14-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal to get to the last eight in a grand slam for the second time.

Monfils, who is yet to drop a set in Flushing Meadows, will face the winner of the match between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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