Tennis-Open-Djokovic ends Monfils's run at French Open
PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) Serbian teenager Novak Djokovic ended local favourite Gael Monfils's run at the French Open with a fourth-round 7-6 7-6 6-3 win today. Monfils, who won his first three matches in five sets, capitulated after two hours and 33 minutes.
''It is unbelievable. I have to say the way I played was good today. I am very happy especially because I beat Gael in front of his home crowd,'' said Djokovic, who will play his first grand slam quarter-final.
''Fortunately I won in straight sets because I do not know how things would have turned if he had won a set.'' ''I was less aggressive than he was. I was a bit down physically,'' Monfils said.
''I played too defensively and I knew it was not the way to play.
I still did play like this and that is why I am disappointed.'' World number 63 Djokovic broke early in the opening set only for Monfils to break back for 5-4 and force a tiebreak that the Serbian pocketed 7-5 with a forehand winner.
The pattern was repeated in the second set with the Frenchman hitting a forehand wide to give Djokovic a two-set lead.
Djokovic broke decisively in the eighth game of the third set to serve for the match.
He will meet defending champion Rafael Nadal for a place in the semi-finals.
Earlier today, Spaniard Nadal ousted Australian 14th seed Lleyton Hewitt 6-2 5-7 6-4 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals.
REUTERS SRS PM2252