Gael Monfils vs Thiago Monteiro ATP Quito tennis preview, predictions and tips: Monfils targets second semi-final of the season in Quito

Andrew Hendrie in ATP 9 Feb 2018
  • Gael Monfils vs Thiago Monteiro is live from Quito around 3.00pm local time on Friday (8.00pm GMT)
  • Monfils won their only previous clash in 2017 at Roland Garros in straight sets
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Quito at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Gael Monfils (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Former top 10 star Gael Monfils continues on his quest for a second ATP World Tour title of 2018 on Friday in Quito when he targets the Ecuador Open semi-finals against Thiago Monteiro of Brazil.

Watch and bet on Monfils vs Monteiro live from Quito at Unibet > live streaming > tennis. Their quarter-final clash begins around 3.00pm local time (8.00pm GMT).



One of just three seeds remaining at the Ecuador Open, Gael Monfils has got to be considered the favourite to prevail in Quito and take home an eighth career title. Monfils hasn’t won an ATP title on clay since his very first triumph in Sopot all the way back in 2005, but with a depleted field in the Ecuadorian city, the Frenchman has got to fancy his chances of going all the way. However, as we all know, Monfils sometimes doesn’t deal well with expectation, and he will need to handle the pressure of the favouritism tag throughout the rest of the tournament if he is to prevail. Up next for the former World No. 6 is Thiago Monteiro, who does have history of upsetting higher-ranked Frenchman on clay during the Golden Swing after stunning then No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the World No. 338 in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Monfils and Monteiro take to court around 3.00pm local time on Friday (8.00pm GMT).

After compiling a magnificent 44-17 record during a career-best 2016 season, Monfils was restricted to far less tournaments in 2017 because of injury, and as a result the enigmatic Frenchman ended the season with a 18-14 match record and a year-end ranking of No. 46 - his lowest mark since 2013.

It was a tough break for Monfils, who had finally began to find some consistency in his supremely talented and athletic game after his outstanding 2016, which was highlighted by winning the biggest title of his career in Washington D.C., finishing runner-up at the Monte-Carlo Masters and Rotterdam, making his first grand slam semi-final since 2008 at the US Open - along with more semis at the Toronto Masters and Tokyo - and quarter-final runs at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami and the Rio Olympics, results that saw him qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London and finish 2016 ranked No. 6 in the world.

Monfils wasn’t able to defend or build on any of those tremendous results as niggling injury problems surfaced consistently throughout 2017, denying him the chance to generate any sort of momentum. The 30-year-old’s best showings were a runner-up showing on the grass of Nottingham and R16 finishes at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, but ultimately knee, ankle, achilles and thigh injuries were too much and Monfils decided to shut down his season after retiring against David Goffin in the third round of the U.S. Open.


But could Monfils be on his way back to the top in 2018? He’s already picked up an ATP title, defeating Paolo Lorenzi, Jan-Lennard Struff, Peter Gojowczyk, Dominic Thiem (walkover) and Andrey Rublev to win the Doha silverware, while he took the opening set over Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Australian Open before succumbing to brutally hot conditions and losing in four. Playing his first match since Melbourne, Monfils overcame a tricky battle with rising Norwegian Casper Ruud, coming away with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory in one hour and 48 minutes.

Thiago Monteiro (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Thiago Monteiro has done most of his damage at ATP level during his stage of the season, with the Brazilian a dangerous unseeded floater for a lot of the Golden Swing tournaments in his native South America. After injuries derailed the early stages of his career and halted his progress to the top 100, Monteiro managed to break into that bracket in 2016, helped by a second round showing at the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro - beating then No. 9 Tsonga along the way - and reaching the quarter-finals of Sao Paolo the following week.

Monteiro would also make the quarter-finals on the clay of Gstaad that season, while he made two more quarter-finals during the Golden Swing in 2017, beating Victor Estrella Burgos and Tommy Robredo in Buenos Aires and Gastao Elias and Thomaz Bellucci in Rio de Janeiro as he hit a career-high ranking of No. 74. However, despite winning a first Grand Slam match at the French Open, that would be the last time Monteiro would win consecutive ATP matches for the season, and his ranking dropped to 124 by season’s end.

The 23-year-old begun 2018 by qualifying for the main draw in Chennai and beating Ruben Bemelmans to reach the second round before retiring against Kevin Anderson, while perhaps he was still not quite 100 per cent as he went down to Lorenzo Sonego in Australian Open qualifying. But Monteiro is seemingly back in full flight in Quito, with the Brazilian taking out fifth seed Horacio Zeballos and Alessandro Giannessi to make another ATP quarter-final in South America.

Monfils crushed Monteiro for the loss of just six games in a straight sets win in the second round of the French Open in their only previous meeting, but this promises to be a closer contest. Monteiro clearly loves playing in South America and has been a very tricky player to overcome in these tournaments over the years. There’s no question Monfils is the better player, but is he focused enough in Quito to take down a player who will fight for every ball? This could turn into an interesting tussle…


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Gael Monfils vs Thiago Monteiro ATP Quito tennis preview, predictions and tips: Monfils targets second semi-final of the season in Quito

Former top 10 star Gael Monfils continues on his quest for a second ATP World Tour title of 2018 on Friday in Quito when he targets the Ecuador Open semi-finals against Thiago Monteiro of Brazil.

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