Gael Monfils stunned Rafael Nadal for the first time in career wit 6-4 6-4 win in 1 hour and 29 minutes. The Frenchman in the three previous meetings against current No. 1 in the world, wasn’t even able to win 4 games in a set.
“I had an almost perfect start to the match and I played well on most points,” Monfils said. “I didn’t allow him to settle down.”
Roger Federer has extended his streak of consecutive winning sets in Doha to 26 (Federer won the Qatar Open in years 2005-06 but didn’t play there in the next two editions) but was very close to lose finally a set. After comfortable lead 6-2 4:1 against Philipp Kohlschreiber, Federer lost the momentum and found himself 1:5 down in the tie-break – Kohlschreiber who was playing amazingly to that point, made an easy backhand error and allowed Federer back into the match. Federer saved three set points in a row (two on return) and booked his place in the semifinal where he meets Andy Murray. Scottish No. 1 enjoyed a smooth passage over Sergey Stakhovsky 6-4 6-2 – Murray beat Stakhovsky after identical scoreline 5 years ago in the final of junior US Open.
Spanish hero from last year’s Davis Cup final (won decisive rubber against Argentina), Fernando Verdasco continues his run to reach Top 10. Verdasco (currently No. 15) needed three sets to overcome Florent Serra 4-6 6-0 6-3. At 2:2 in the third set, Verdasco saved break point with brilliant forehand lob, serving for the match at 5:3 saved another break point with astonishing backhand half-volley.
“I think the Davis Cup will be in my mind all my life,” he said. “For example when I was playing today and when it was the tough moments I was thinking ‘I can come back – I came back in the Davis Cup, why can’t I come back today?”.
Either from set down came back Radek Stepanek and Richard Gasquet, both after very similar matches – lost first set easily, were two games away from defeat in the second, only to win the third set almost as easily as they lost the first one.
Former No. 5 in the world, German Rainer Schuettler, exactly one year ago was ranked No. 99 but since last year’s Wimbledon has been on the road to go back to Top 30. In the quarterfinal Schuettler beat fellow German Bjorn Phau 6-2 7-5 despite a deficit of two breaks in the second set.
A two-time U.S. collegiate champion, Somdev Devvarman has notched the biggest success in his short career beating 7-6 6-4 Ivo Karlovic. Devvarman broke Karlovic’s serve once, in the final game of the match thanks to 4 unforced errors of the Croat, the Indian added one great passing-shot in that game. 23 year-old Devverman plays just 5th ATP tournament.
Doha – Quarterfinals
(5)(WC)Gael Monfils (FRA) d. (1)Rafael Nadal (ESP) 6-4 6-4
(4)Andy Roddick (USA) d. Victor Hanescu 6-3 6-2
(3)Andy Murray (GBR) d. Sergey Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-4 6-2
(2)Roger Federer (SUI) d. (8)Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-2 7-6(6)
Brisbane – Quarterfinals
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) d. Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-3 6-4
(3)Fernando Verdasco (ESP) d. Florent Serra (FRA) 4-6 6-0 6-3
(8)Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs (4)Robin Soderling (SWE) 2-6 6-4 6-3
(7)Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs (2)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 1-6 6-4 6-2
Chennai – Quarterfinals
(8)Marcel Granollers (ESP) d. (WC)Lukas Dlouhy (CZE) 7-5 2-6 6-4
(3)Marin Cilic (CRO) d. (7)Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 6-4 0-6 6-4
(WC)Somdev K. Dev Varman (IND) d. (4)Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 7-6(4) 6-4
(5)Rainer Schuettler (GER) d. Bjorn Phau (GER) 6-2 7-5