Winston-Salem, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Gael Monfils booked a spot in the semifinal of the Winston-Salem Open with a 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-4 win over seventh seed Fernando Verdasco Thursday.
Monfils saved nine of 10 break points and won 71 percent of his first serves with seven aces to finish the match in two hours and 12 minutes.
“At the end, at the close points, that was very great tennis,” said Monfils. “The level was very high. The last game, it was tough to win, because he wasn’t missing a lot.”
With his third straight win over Verdasco, Monfils booked a semifinal showdown with Alexandr Dolgopolov, who defeated Yen-Hsun Lu, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
The Ukrainian hit nine aces and broke serve twice to cruise past Lu in one hour and 38 minutes, improving his head-to-head record against the Taiwanese to 3-0.
Jurgen Melzer defeated Dmitry Tursunov, 6-4, 6-3, in a rain-interrupted encounter to seal a semifinal clash with sixth seed Sam Querrey, who prevailed over Ricardas Berankis, 6-3, 6-4.
On the women’s side, fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki defeated American sixth seed Sloane Stephens, 7-6 (6), 6-2, to make it to the semifinal of the New Haven Open at Yale.
“I definitely went out there with aggression and felt I was playing really well, and taking the ball early,” Wozniacki said. “I was really, really pleasI thought Sloane played really well, as well.
Awaiting Wozniacki in the semifinals is Simona Halep, who won an all-unseeded battle with Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 7-6(6).
Halep has now won 27 of her last 32 WTA main draw matches. She has also made it through to the ninth WTA semifinal of her career – and her first WTA semifinal on hardcourts.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova ousted Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 to advance against Klara Zakopalova in an all-Czech semifinal. Zakopalova booked a semifinal spot with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 triumph over Elena Vesnina.
Zakopalova has a 2-1 edge over Kvitova in their head-to-head clash but her two wins were both in 2007 while Kvitova’s win came earlier this year.