Gael Monfils continues his quest for a third Open Sud de France title in Montpellier on Friday night against Norbert Gombos in the quarter-finals.
Gael Monfils ?? vs Norbert Gombos ?? Match Info
Date: Friday February 7
Tournament: ATP Montpellier, QF
Court: Patrice Dominguez
Time: 7.00pm local time (6.00pm GMT)
Gael Monfils vs Norbert Gombos Head-to-Head
Gael Monfils vs Norbert Gombos Match Preview
Monfils is into the Open Sud de France quarter-finals for the fifth time in seven visits after overcoming a tough first match in Montpellier on Thursday night against countryman Adrian Mannarino.
Even at 2-2 in their head-to-head coming into the match, Monfils was forced to come from a set down and a break down in the decider before finally seizing control of the match when it mattered most, registering a 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory in two hours and one minute. Monfils is playing in Montpellier for the first time since 2016 and is aiming for a third title at the ATP 250 tournament after taking home the silverware in 2010 and 2014. His win over Mannarino saw Monfils improve to 16-4 lifetime in Montpellier.
Monfils 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 at the 500-level tournament 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. Nevertheless, he still finished the year inside the top 10 for the second time in his career, and he’s started 2020 in solid if unspectacular fashion, advancing to the fourth round of the Australian Open before suffering a one-sided defeat to eventual runner-up Dominic Thiem.
Consistency and staying healthy has always been the biggest issue for Monfils, but at this stage it’s certainly possible that he could somewhat repeat his career-best 2016 season, where he made the U.S. Open semi-finals and won the 500-level Citi Open in Washington to finish that year at No. 6 in the world. Winning a third title in Montpellier would act as the perfect springboard – and also help ease the pressure of having to defend 500 points in Rotterdam later this month.
Meanwhile, Gombos – currently ranked No. 104 in the world – has put together a great week in Montpellier so far, upsetting Pablo Carreno Busta in three sets in the opening round before knocking out rising Finnish star Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5 6-4 on Thursday.
Gombos seems to save his best tennis, at least at tour-level, for French 250s, because he made his first ATP quarter-final at Marseille back in 2017 – the same season he broke into the top 100 for the first time and reached his career-high mark of No. 81. The 29-year-old is a solid shotmaker and has a lot of talent, but so far he’s been unable to make the full-time transition from Challenger level to the ATP World Tour, failing to finish any season inside the top 100. Gombos has four Challenger titles to his name and has started 2020 brightly, qualifying for the Australian Open main draw (where he lost in R1 in five sets to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina) and now making the quarter-finals in Montpellier – and if he can upset Monfils, he’ll return to the top 100 on Monday.
Gael Monfils vs Norbert Gombos Prediction
Gombos has only won 11 tour-level matches in his career and is 0-1 against top 10 players, so suffice to say he’s up against it on Friday. Monfils isn’t your average top 10 player in that he’s more susceptible to inconsistent performances, but the Frenchman enjoys playing in Montpellier, and after a three-set opening win, he should be settled and ready to put the hard yards in as he targets a third title at the tournament.