Melbourne: Gael Monfils’ blistering start to the season continued today as he eased past Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5 7-6(4) 6-3 to reach his second Australian Open quarter-finals.
With wife and top women’s player Elina Svitolina beaming in the crowd, the flamboyant Frenchman lit up the Margaret Court Arena with sparkling shot-making to reach the last eight at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2016.
“It was really tough, he played extremely fast on both sides,” said 17th seed Monfils, who will play Matteo Berrettini or Pablo Carrena Busta for a place in the semi-finals.
“I tried to be very aggressive today ... It was just battling, battling, hanging in there.” Monfils wrapped up the match with trademark panache, leaping high to thump a backhand crosscourt winner and end Kecmanovic’s dream run since the Serb avoided a first-round clash against the deported world number one Novak Djokovic.
At 35 and recently married, Monfils has a new lease on life, and wants to go even further in the tournament.
“I want to do better .... We are not quite finished yet,” he said.