• ATP Tour

Monfils survives Kohlschreiber scare

ESPN staff
September 21, 2012
Gaels Monfils fell behind early to Philipp Kohlschreiber © Getty Images

Home favourite Gael Monfils dragged himself back from a set down to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber and reach the semi-finals of the Moselle Open on Friday.

Monfils, playing his first competitive tournament since May, struggled with his second serve in Metz and spent large parts of the match scrapping for points against his German rival. However, after just shy of two-and-a-half hours on court, Monfils emerged a 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4 winner.

The Frenchman served up six double-faults and won less than half the points on his second serve, while Kohlschreiber ensured Monfils was also kept off balance when returning.

However, after losing a first-set tiebreaker, Monfils offered Kohlschreiber few chances in the second - conceding one break point - allowing him to level the match at 1-1. The final set became a tense affair, but Monfils broke for 5-4 and served out the match to delight the home crowd.

Monfils will now face Andreas Seppi for a place in the final after the Italian beat Florian Mayer 7-5 6-2. Seppi needed 61 minutes on court, winning 30 of 31 points on first serve as Mayer failed to get any foothold in the contest.

In the other half of the draw, top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made light work of Jesse Levine, booking his place in the last four with a 6-3 6-4 victory. Tsonga, the defending champion, is looking for his second Metz title, and he played better than the scoreline reflected in a one-sided quarter-final.

It was a frustrating start to the match for Tsonga, who shared breaks of serve with Levine despite creating eight opportunities in the American's first two service games. However, a further breakthrough was inevitable, and once Tsonga had the buffer of the first set, he wrapped up victory in 94 minutes.

Tsonga will now meet Nikolay Davydenko, who was a 6-7(5) 7-6(6) 6-0 winner against Ivo Karlovic.

Elsewhere, at the St Petersburg Open No. 1 seed Mikhail Youzhny came from a break down in the final set to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4 0-6 6-3. Youzhny will now face Martin Klizan in the last four after he beat Ricardas Berankis 6-3 6-2.

The other semi-final will be contested by fourth seed Fabio Fognini and Daniel Gimeno-Traver, who beat Roberto Bautista-Agut and Flavio Cipolla respectively.

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