Gael Monfils continues his Rotterdam title defence when he takes on Dan Evans for the first time in three years in Friday’s quarter-finals.
Gael Monfils 🇫🇷 vs Dan Evans 🇬🇧 Match Info
Date: Friday February 14
Tournament: ATP Rotterdam, QF
Court: Centre Court
Time: 7.30pm local time (6.30pm GMT)
Gael Monfils vs Dan Evans Head-to-Head
Monfils leads 1-0
2017 | Dubai R16 | Monfils 6-4 3-6 6-1
Gael Monfils vs Dan Evans Match Preview
On a six-match winning streak and having won 11 of his last 12 matches in Rotterdam, it’s safe to say Monfils brings a hot streak of form into this quarter-final showdown with Evans on Friday night.
With no rest after capturing the ninth ATP title of his career last week in Montpellier, Monfils has continued his rich vein of form, cruising into the quarter-finals in Rotterdam without losing more than four games in a set, accounting for Joao Sousa 6-3 6-2 and Gilles Simon 6-4 6-1. The Frenchman’s win over compatriot Simon was especially impressive given he had only won two of their previous nine meetings coming into yesterday.
Monfils has now won 10 of his 12 matches in 2020 after also reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open last month – and with top seeds dropping like flies in Rotterdam this week, he’s positioning himself nicely for a successful title defence after he produced some scintillating tennis last year to beat Daniil Medvedev and Stan Wawrinka en route to the silverware in 2019.
The 33-year-old has quietly made his way back into the top 10 after an underrated last 12 months, which included winning one of the biggest titles of his career here in Rotterdam, while he also reached semi-finals at the Montreal Masters, Sofia, Dubai and Vienna, along with making the fourth round at Roland Garros and the U.S. Open. Monfils was one win away from qualifying for the ATP Finals at the end of 2019, but he failed to beat Denis Shapovalov at the Paris Masters.
Needing to make the final in order to remain at No. 9 in the world, can Monfils win his seventh match on the bounce in the quarter-finals?
Evans might have something to say about that. The man from Great Britain is an excellent 8-3 to start the season, earning some brilliant ATP Cup victories over Alex de Minaur and David Goffin, while he was also a quarter-finalist in Adelaide, pushing eventual champion Andrey Rublev to three sets. Evans suffered a disappointing second round loss at the Australian Open to Yoshihito Nishioka, but he’s bounced back nicely in Rotterdam, conquering veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber and former Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov to make his second quarter-final of 2020.
The 29-year-old earned his career-high ranking of No. 32 after reaching the quarter-finals in Adelaide and has done a superb job of clawing his way back up to the top after being unranked in April 2018 after receiving a drugs ban. Evans also made the Delray Beach final as a qualifier last season, along with reaching quarter-finals in Eastbourne and Atlanta and the third round of Wimbledon. Currently at a live ranking of No. 31, Evans can ensure he cracks the top 30 for the first time in his career if he can beat Monfils on Friday night.
Gael Monfils vs Dan Evans Prediction
The pair haven’t played for three years and Evans is certainly a much improved competitor these days. I’ve been very impressed with the Brit’s form to start the season and his variety has the ability to frustrate Monfils. In saying that, the Frenchman traditionally struggled against Simon but was barely troubled yesterday. This will probably go three sets, but I think Monfils has the slight edge.