Roger Federer eased past Gael Monfils without sweating it out in the fourth round of French Open on Tuesday. Although only half the job is done; the Swiss is next up against his Davis Cup teammate Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-final of Roland Garros.
The world number two, made light work of Gael Monfils claiming a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory to set up a Swiss blockbuster against his fellow countryman. Locked at one set each, bad light stopped the encounter between Federer and Monfils. The 2009 Roland Garros champion was back to his best in recent times against the French showman. Federer had previously lost two of his encounters with the 13th seed Monfils; but after breaking serve in the opening game of the subsequent day, the 33-year-old took complete control over the proceedings and wrapped up the match with ease. Monfils, being far from his best blamed an illness for his lack of resistance.
“I didn’t have a great night last night,” he said. “Today for me was very tough. Roger played solid. I think not very decent, but just a solid match. I think it was pretty obvious I have no energy today. Couldn’t challenge him because I was too tired.”
Now, Federer’s thoughts would turn immediately to his 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning doubles partner Wawrinka. Federer leads 16-2 against his fellow countryman and but in recent times Wawrinka has pushed Federer hard – most significantly in the previous year’s ATP World Tour Finals, when they had an energy draining match.
“We know each other very well. Most of the time it’s a physical game, and we know that. So we are confident in our physical form,” Federer said. “Mentally, it’s a little bit bizarre to play one another. We know exactly the zones that we want to hit, so we have to play slightly different to the traditional game plan.”
“What’s important right now is that I am physically fresh for the back end of the tournament,” said a confident Federer. He will feature in the quarter-finals of the tournament for an 11th time when he takes on Wawrinka.