Gaël Monfils is the only Frenchman still in the running at the Masters 1000 Montreal: the 20th in the world reached the round of 16 by beating Maxime Cressy (31st) on Wednesday, unlike Adrian Mannarino (70th) who came close to creating a surprise against Jannik Sinner ( 12th).
The Parisian had successfully returned to the courts the day before after three months of absence due to an injury to his right heel, beating the Spaniard Pedro Martinez (53rd) in three sets.
He came out on Wednesday victorious 7-6 (12/10), 7-6 (8/6) in a still very tight fight against the American of French origin whom he met for the first time.
He first revived in the first set by breaking to come back to 5-5, before winning in the decisive game on his fourth set point, after his opponent failed to convert two, committing some mistakes at the worst time.
In the second set, Monfils had two break points at 3-3, erased by his opponent who pushed him to a second tie-break.
The scenario repeated itself for Cressy, who had two more opportunities to equalize one set everywhere, instead Monfils was realistic in winning the match on his first chance.
It was a crazy game!
At first, I had a hard time getting used to his serve (...) his second ball goes so fast!
But from the middle of the first east, I was well inspired and well in my match
, ”he commented to the daily L'Equipe.
Afterwards, I had a lot of success, because he has to win the first set.
In the second, a false rhythm is installed.
I should have broken at 4-3, but behind it is still champagne because I must not win the tie-break
, ”he again agreed.
The 35-year-old Frenchman will face Briton Jack Draper (82nd), unexpected winner of Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5th).
Earlier, qualifying Adrian Mannarino led a set to nil and 4-3 before being knocked down 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 by Jannik Sinner.
The 34-year-old Frenchman gave the Italian a lot of trouble, dominating their encounter during the first half of the match.
Solid in the exchanges, setting the pace, he broke it from the start to lead 3-0, then a second time to complete the first set.
In the second set, Mannarino cracked at the worst time, on the only opportunity conceded to Sinner at 4-4.
The latter, who had won their first confrontation in 2020 in Sofia, took advantage of a less good blow from his opponent, who had his right knee bandaged by the physiotherapist in the 3rd set, to enforce on the runs the most obvious logic on paper.
The 20-year-old Italian, who remains on a victory at the Umag tournament (Croatia), will face the Spaniard Pablo Carreno (23rd) in the next round.