Frenchman Gael Monfils registered a straight-sets victory over second seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece to reach the semifinals of the Sofia Open, where he will play Russian sensation, Daniil Medvedev, who eased past Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in the Bulgarian capital on Friday.
Monfils, ranked 33rd in the world, has played impressively all week, doing so without the loss of a set. And against Tsitsipas, he maintained the tempo, breaking the young Greek at the first time of asking in the first set and then clinching the second in a tiebreaker to claim a 6-3, 7-6 victory.
“I was very aggressive today,” said 32-year-old Monfils. “I tried to dictate [the tempo] and I did my job at the end. Today I served very well, this is my best serving day so far.”
Monfils will have a final berth in mind when he takes on 22-year-old Daniil Medvedev in the semis. Medvedev, seeded third, bombarded Martin Klizan with nine aces en route to a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 win.
Elsewhere, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini continued his impressive run at the event with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
Berrettini, ranked 53rd in the world, had earlier beaten top seed, Karen Khachanov in a second round three-setter.
“Like in the match against Karen, I was a set down and I tried to stay focused,” said Berrettini. “I knew I had to fight and I’m glad it went well.”
The unheralded Italian will certainly be riding a wave of confidence into his semifinal match against Marton Fucsovics, who made progress after 2016 champion, Roberto Bautista-Agut withdrew before the quarterfinals due to illness.