Article

Monfils wins rain-interrupted clash against top seed Cilic

23 February 2018 03:31

Gael Monfils barely raised a sweat as he took down top seed Marin Cilic in their rain-interrupted second-round match at the Rio Open, while Dominic Thiem reached the quarter-finals.

Rain forced the clash to be suspended at a crucial stage Wednesday, with the pair deadlocked at 7-7 in a tie-break after Monfils won the opening set 6-3.

Monfils and Australian Open runner-up Cilic returned Thursday and the former emerged triumphant 6-3 7-6 (10-8).

There were only four points played on court as unseeded Monfils, who faced a set point upon the resumption, set up a last-eight meeting with sixth seed Diego Schwartzman at the ATP 500 event.

"I don't think I feel very good, it's not about numbers," Monfils said. "I think I'm not in my best shape yet, I'm fighting for every point. Tomorrow [Friday] will be a great match, Schwartzman is a very fast player. I will have to play more aggressive."

Defending champion and second seed Thiem eased through to the quarters following the retirement of opponent Pablo Andujar, who was trailing 4-2 in the first set.

Next up for Thiem is eighth seed Fernando Verdasco after the Spaniard rallied past Nicolas Kicker 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-0.

Fellow seeds Fabio Fognini and Pablo Cuevas also progressed thanks to wins over Tennys Sandgren (4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6)) and Gastao Elias (7-5 6-1).

Pablo Carreno Busta – the third seed – was stunned 6-2 5-7 6-2 by Aljaz Bedene.

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