Gael Monfils dropped the first set before rallying to take the final two against Fernando Verdasco and advances to the semifinals of the Winston-Salem Open, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Verdasco won the first set tiebreak 8-6, but Monfils served well during the match and benefited from 12 double faults from the Spaniard.
"It's always good to be in the semifinals, especially after two big wins. He's very aggressive, hitting lots of winners and making lots of mistakes. It makes you play a bit different." Monfils said after the match.
The veteran from France has seen strides following an injury that sidelined him after peaking to as high as 7th in the World in 2011. A win in Winston-Salem would significantly assist in his comeback but first, he will have to get by Alexandr Dolgopolov who won the early quarterfinal match in Winston-Salem.
Dolgopolov has played solid tennis throughout the tournament and that continued on Thursday against Yen-Hsun Lu. The Ukrainian earned a birth in the semifinals with a 7-6, 6-3 victory.
In the first set, neither player could solve their opponents serve, each holding serve until the tiebreak. The tiebreaker was close until Dolgopolov took the last four points winning 7-2, taking the first set.
In the second set, Lu broke to go to 3-2 but that was short lived as Dolgo won the last four games breaking twice, despite an injury situation.
In the fifth game of the set, Dolgopolov was forced to take an injury timeout after cutting the knuckle on his left thumb, hitting it with his racket off of a forehand.
"I couldn't feel it much for a few games...It just aches..not a hard pain, but it threw off my concentration a bit. Stuff like that happens. You have to deal with it and get back as fast as you can." Dolgopolov replied after the match.
With the win, he makes his first semifinal of the year and hopes to turn around a year in which he has struggled, heading into the U.S. Open.
The final two spots of the semifinals will be determined after evening matches. Dmitry Tursunov will face Jurgen Melzer in the first night match, followed by Sam Querrey against Ricardas Berankis.