No. 1 seed Gael Monfils lost a total of five games against Tommy Paul but afterward insisted it was a "tough one." Monfils, ranked at No. 21 in the world, saw off Paul 6-4 6-1 to reach the Adelaide semifinal. Monfils started the match with a 2-0 lead but Paul broke back in the third game.
However, Monfils kept his focus as he broke Paul again in the 10th game to win the opener. Paul started the second set with a break but then his game absolutely fell apart as Monfils claimed three consecutive breaks and won six games in a row to book a straight-set win.
"It was a tough one," said Monfils, per the ATP website. "I had a great start and he broke me back. I think I was rushing a little bit on my first serve, and… [I needed] a little bit more timing on my first serve to have free points.
Then it was just a battle. [I] felt great."
Monfils plays Thanasi Kokkinakis next
Home favorite Kokkinakis survived a three-setter as he beat Mikael Ymer 7-6 (9) 4-6 6-4 to reach the Adelaide semifinal. “(It) really got me through”.
Kokkinakis said, per Tennis Australia. “I felt like I was playing a human brick wall, so the support means the world”. Monfils and Kokkinakis are set to clash against each other for the first time on the ATP Tour.
“It’s going to be a fun match. He brings so much energy and he was probably my favourite player when I was growing up so it’s going be a lot of fun," Kokkinakis said. Kokkinakis finished his quarterfinal match late and later joked about it.
“My sleeping patterns are out of whack; I’ve got no idea what’s going on at the moment,” Kokkinakis said. “The other night I went to bed at 4am after the Tiafoe match, but that’s what my fitness guys are for."