\\\\\ NEW YORK
Gael Monfils upset Grigor Dimitrov in unexpectedly comprehensive fashion yesterday to reach his second US Open quarter-final. It was the best match-up of the fourth round in the bottom half of the draw but seventh seed Dimitrov was off his game and went down 7-5 7-6 (8/6) 7-5.
Monfils, who is likely to meet Roger Federer next, is one of the most enigmatic characters on tour and infuriates as much as he entertains with his frequent inability to turn talent into results. But for most of yesterday’s match, which was played in high humidity, he was calm and controlled, allowing Dimitrov to implode under the weight of expectation. The Bulgarian cracked first in the 11th game of the opening set, with Monfils serving it out confidently.
The Frenchman saw an early break slip away in the second and had a brief meltdown but it was Dimitrov who collapsed in the tie-break, four errors from 6-4 handing the set to Monfils. And when he served to stay in the match in the 12th game of the third, Dimitrov again faltered, finishing the contest with a meek double fault.
Monfils’ only previous trip to the last eight at Flushing Meadows came four years ago, when he lost to Novak Djokovic. The Frenchman, who is yet to drop a set, also made the quarter-finals at the French Open this year, going down in five sets to Andy Murray.