June 1, 2015
A moment of complacency can finish you at Roland Garros, just as surely as a bout of illness.
So it was for Gael Monfils, who was 40-0 up in the first game when he resumed his match against Roger Federer at one set all.
Monfils decided to attempt a casual drop-shot to complete that opening game and show who had the upper hand.
Federer pounced to win the point and then hit back with such ferocity that Monfils looked stunned by the way events swiftly unfolded.
Ruthless Roger completed his 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 triumph in an hour and two minutes of resumed play on Monday.
He looks sharp and he will have to remain so when he plays fellow Swiss, Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.
Federer said later: ‘It was like a three-set match today, I’m happy to have won in straight sets in that sense, because Gael can be very tricky when he gets going. I’m also happy to be playing Stan next, who is playing great tennis.
‘But I’m really committed, I’m really pleased with the way it turned out against Monfils, I was able to construct some really good points, so I’m feeling good to be honest.’
As for defending champion Maria Sharapova, she is feeling anything but good. Her bid to reach a fourth successive French Open final spluttered to a halt against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, the 13th seed winning through 7-6 (3), 6-4. And splutter is the right word, since a cough and a cold had hampered Sharapova’s tournament from the start.
Graciously, however, the Russian preferred to pay tribute to the victor, rather than complain about the state of her own health.
Sharapova said, ‘My opponent had a different gear than I did. I just wasn’t able to keep that level up today. She took the time away from me, created her angles and i didn’t. That was the difference today.’