Monfils Powers Past Kohlschreiber To Reach The Quarterfinals At Indian Wells

INDIAN WELLS, March 14, 2019 (by Sharada Rajagopalan)

From Tuesday to Wednesday, the men’s draw experienced quite a turnaround in the results at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Here is how the day panned out: Philipp Kohlschreiber came up with a shocking upset of the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Tuesday in the third round. However, on Wednesday, the German had nothing to present against Gael Monfils who won their face-off in 57 minutes, 6-0, 6-2. Monfils is now 16-3 in the season, which is by far one of the best – if not the best – he has had at the start of a season so far. There is a lot being said about his new romance with Elina Svitolina helping him find the balance on-court but what has not been said (the way it ought to have been) is the contribution of Liam Smith, with whom he joined forces this year.

Next up for Monfils is Dominic Thiem who also came up with an equally impressive performance to beat Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 6-3.

“The previous days here in Indian Wells helped me a lot to get back to my top level physically and also to play good tennis again,” Thiem was quoted on the ATP Tour website. “It was 11 days of good practice. That’s where I got my good feeling and my good tennis and also the good physical health back.”

Imperious as Monfils’ performance was, the 7th-seeded Austrian ought to be going in confidently on account of the 4-0 lead he has in their head-to-head. But, on the flipside, head-to-heads do turn around and who knows, this quarter-final may be the day when Monfils finally finds a solution to Thiem’s dominance over him.

If Monfils continued to make a point about the older players finding newer ways to reinvigorate themselves, Hubert Hurkacz and Miomir Kecmanovic flew the flag of the youngsters rallying on the day.

The 22-year-old Pole defeated fellow Next Gen player Denis Shapovalov 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 in their fourth-round match to set up his first meeting against Roger Federer (who beat Kyle Edmund 6-1, 6-4) in the last-eight. The 19-year-old Serbian, meanwhile, has become the last man standing from his country in the main draw. The former junior World No. 1 – who entered the main draw as a lucky loser – booked his place in the quarter-finals after his opponent Yoshihito Nishioka retired when down 6-4 in the first set. Kecmanovic and Milos Raonic will headline the second quarter-final in the men’s top-half.

With Karen Khachanov and Rafael Nadal completing the quarter-final line-up, the 2019 edition of the BNP Paribas Open remains intriguingly poised.