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South African Open: Monfils Advances, Ouanna and Klaasen Out

Friday, February 5, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Josselin Ouanna, Gael Monfils and Raven Klaasen South African Open(L-R) Josselin Ouanna, FRA, Gael Monfils, FRA, Raven Klaasen, RSA
(Photos by © Reg Cadecott and Getty Images)

Top seed Gael Monfils defeated fellow Frenchman Josselin Ouanna 6-4, 7-5 on Thursday in Johannesburg to book his place in the quarter-finals at the SA Tennis Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.

Ouanna managed to save 13 of the 16 break point chances he faced on serve, but it still did not prove enough to prevent his more experienced countryman from closing out the victory in one hour and 21 minutes.

Afterwards, World No. 13 Monfils admitted he had to work for the win against the 88th-ranked Ouanna. “I think he knows me well, and it’s hard all the time when players know you well,” he said. “Also, I just didn’t get the big serve. It was a bit tough. I needed to be focused to get back the return. Also, sometimes he can hit very hard with his forehand, so today was definitely harder than the first game.”

Monfils made an impressive tournament debut Tuesday, taking just 53 minutes to dismiss Slovakian veteran Dominik Hrbaty. The 23 year old is attempting to keep the Johannesburg title in French possession, after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the SA Tennis Open last year.

He will look to reach an ATP World Tour semi-final for the second time this season when he next plays seventh seed Yen-Hsun Lu. Earlier in the evening, after a 90-minute rain delay, Lu knocked out South African wild card Raven Klaasen 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 56 minutes.

Posted by Shelia

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