Gael Mon­fils, Ivo Karlovic reach Ja­pan Open quar­ter­fi­nals

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Sec­ond-seeded Gael Mon­fils over­came an an­kle in­jury to beat Gilles Si­mon 6-1, 6-4 yes­ter­day and ad­vance to the quar­ter­fi­nals at the Ja­pan Open.

Mon­fils trailed 4-1 in the sec­ond set when he in­jured an an­kle and had to call for the trainer. He won the next five games af­ter re­ceiv­ing treat­ment.

“Some­how I got through my shots bet­ter when I came back, be­cause maybe I was a bit wor­ried,” Mon­fils said.

The French­man will face Ivo Karlovic in the quar­ter­fi­nals. The big-serv­ing Croat had 24 aces while beat­ing Janko Tip­sare­vic 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5), and has now gone to a tiebreak in all five sets he has played in Tokyo.

“Last year I was los­ing a lot of tiebreaks. This year I’m a lit­tle more re­laxed in them and try­ing not to panic,” the sev­enth­seeded Karlovic said. “My game plan to­day was that I would go to the net more often but it didn’t work out like that, so I had to be at the back a lit­tle more.”

Mon­fils beat Karlovic in Wash­ing­ton in July, the only time they have met since 2011.

“I was lead­ing by a set and a break in Wash­ing­ton,” Karlovic said. “I was do­ing re­ally well tech­ni­cally, hit­ting hard balls and he didn’t like it. Hope­fully, I can also do that to­mor­row and close out the match this time.”

Also, Gilles Muller of Lux­em­bourg de­feated Mar­cos Bagh­datis 6-3, 6-4 to set up a match against Nick Kyr­gios, who pro­gressed when Radek Stepanek with­drew be­cause of a back in­jury.

Top-seeded Kei Nishikori, who re­tired from his sec­on­dround match on Wed­nes­day, pulled out of next week’s Shang­hai Masters. He said he still hopes to be able to play at the sea­son-end­ing ATP fi­nals in Lon­don.

“The tests show I have a light strain in my left glute mus­cle,” Nishikori said in a state­ment. “The doc­tor is rec­om­mend­ing at least 10 days’ rest and heavy re­hab. I will do ev­ery­thing I can to get back on court and be ready for the end of the sea­son.”

Gael Mon­fils ad­vances to the quar­ter­fi­nals Photo: AP

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