Gael Monfils aims 'special' Australian Open run

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Gael Monfils aims 'special' Australian Open run

France's Gael Monfils was satisfied with the way he performed against qualifier world No. 256 Ernests Gulbis at the Australian Open on Saturday. Monfils, seeded at No. 10, handed a straight-set defeat to former world No.

10 Gulbis 7-6 (2) 6-4 6-3 to reach the round-of-16 at Melbourne Park. Monfils found himself down by a break early in the first set but he broke back Gulbis, before winning the tie-break to steal the opener. The Frenchman then claimed two breaks in each of the following two sets and lost his serve once en route to earning a straight-set win.

"I'm very happy the way I played today," Monfils said, per the ATP Tour. "It was a great atmosphere again today, so thank you so much. I feel great." Monfils, who made the quarterfinal at Melbourne Park in 2016, hopes this Australian Open campaign turns out to be special.

The Frenchman will have to beat No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem in order to reach his second quarterfinal at Melbourne Park. "Always we say the second week [of a Grand Slam] is special, so I hope this one will be special for me," Monfils added.