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Friday, February 24, 2017

French Stars Monfils, Tsonga Reach Marseille QFs

Straight-set wins for French pair
ATP Staff

The top two seeds Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pleased the French crowd on Thursday evening at the Open 13 Marseille as they both advanced to the quarter-finals with straight-sets wins.


Monfils needed just 57 minutes to dismiss qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-1, 6-4. The right-hander dropped just eight points on serve as he set a quarter-final clash with countryman Richard Gasquet. The pair have met 12 times, with Monfils leading their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 7-5.
The 30-year-old Monfils is returning to action this week for the first time since his fourth-round showing at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal). The Frenchman, who qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time last year, is looking to go one better than his run in Marseille in 2015, when he finished runner-up to Gilles Simon.
Second seed Tsonga was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Illya Marchenko, saving all six break points the Ukrainian created to advance in 81 minutes.
Tsonga goes on to face 2015 champion Simon as he bids to win his second ATP World Tour title in as many weeks. The Frenchman is coming off his first title in 17 months after lifting the trophy in Rotterdam last week (d. Goffin).
The 31-year-old Tsonga is a two-time former champion in Marseille, hoisting the trophy in 2009 (d. Llodra) and 2013 (d. Berdych), while also finishing runner-up in 2014 (l. to Gulbis). 
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