Easy First Win for Monfils, the Frenchman Moves Into Sofia SFs

Gael Monfils made an easy and fast debut at Sofia Open 2021. The experienced Frenchman cruised past Italy’s Gianluca Mager 6-2, 6-2 to reach his second ATP Tour semi-final in two weeks. The 35-year-old fired 13 aces and mixed his aggressive baseline tennis with great variety to advance after 50 minutes.

The Frenchman, who enjoyed a run to the last four in Metz last week, was competing in his maiden match in Sofia this year after receiving a first-round bye and then a walkover from Winston-Salem champion Ilya Ivashka.

“I like to be here,” Monfils said in his on-court interview. “The city is great. The people organising the tournament are always amazing. I have had a very good time with good preparation and that is why I think I played very well today.”

Monfils will next face Marcos Giron after the American defeated eighth seed John Millman 6-4, 6-2 to reach his first tour-level semi-final.

“Nothing is easy,” Monfils added. “We have been putting in work for nearly four days here. Working on my serve and my forehand and it worked perfectly today. I will be ready for Marcos. He has been playing very well, so I think it will be a tough semi-final.”

Monfils has reached the semi-finals in Sofia in 2019. Earlier this season, the World No. 20 advanced to the last eight in Toronto, before reaching the third round at the US Open.