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Monfils vs Berankis tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Monfils brings seven-match winning streak to Dubai 500 quarterfinals

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 27 Feb 2019
  • Gael Monfils faces Ricardas Berankis in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday
  • Monfils vs Berankis is live from Dubai on Thursday at 3pm local/11am GMT
Gael Monfils (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

On a seven-match winning streak, Gael Monfils takes on surprise quarterfinalist Ricardas Berankis for a place in the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Looking to make back-to-back 500-level semifinals, Gael Monfils faces Ricardas Berankis in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarterfinals on Thursday.

Monfils has built a seven-match winning streak after winning the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, beating Daniil Medvedev and Stan Wawrinka, and defeating Marin Cilic and Marcos Baghdatis in Dubai.

Monfils is on a seven-match winning streak after claiming the title in Rotterdam (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
The French player has compiled a brilliant 11-2 record so far in 2019, with the only blemish on his record a second-round defeat at the Australian Open to Taylor Fritz which looks even stranger in retrospect, since Monfils went on to reach the semifinals at the Sofia Open, defeating Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas before losing to eventual champion Medvedev – a defeat he avenged on the way to his eighth title in Rotterdam.

Monfils said in Sofia that he was starting to believe he could get back to the top of the game after the injury issues which brought his 2017 season to an abrupt end and saw him slip as low as world no. 46 in the rankings in 2018, and the French player has now won 17 of his last 20 matches as he heads into the Dubai semifinals. Up to world no. 23, he looks poised to break into the world’s top 20 once more.

Both Monfils and his quarterfinal opponent took out a top-eight seed on their way to this quarterfinal clash, but one really can’t equate Monfils’s defeat of Marin Cilic – which just about everybody predicted – with Berankis’s defeat of Daniil Medvedev.

Monfils had a perfect record against third seed Cilic coming into that clash, and Cilic moreover had only played one event in 2019 due to a knee injury and was sorely lacking in match practice. Under the circumstances, Cilic did well to take a set but the match belonged to Monfils, who won 24 of the 29 points played in the decider to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

Showcasing his increased consistency, Monfils backed up that upset with a very solid 6-3, 6-2 win over 2016 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis on Wednesday to equal his previous best result at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a quarterfinal appearance in 2017 which ended at the hands of Tomas Berdych.

Ricardas Berankis (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)
It’s Ricardas Berankis who stands in the way of Monfils going any further in Dubai. The Lithuanian is on a four-match winning streak after having played his way into the main draw through qualifying, beating Constant Lestienne and Mirza Basic before upsetting eighth seed Daniil Medvedev.

Just about nobody would have predicted that result, with Medvedev playing so well so far in 2019, winning Sofia, finishing runner-up in Brisbane and making the semifinals in Rotterdam, while it’s been a long time since world no. 113 Berankis was particularly relevant. Berankis’s career-high ranking of world no. 50 came in 2016, but it was mainly built on success on the Challenger Tour circuit where he had won three titles in the past 12 months, and he has never thrived on the ATP Tour proper to the same extent.

Injuries have also been a constant problem for Berankis: That career-high ranking in 2016, for example, was followed by him missing the first four and a half months of the 2017 season, and he did well to end it at world no. 141. He broke back into the top 100 briefly in 2018 as he won one Challenger and finished runner-up at two more, but ended the year at world no. 116.

Berankis won the tenth Challenger Tour title of his career in Rennes in January after having made the second round in Doha as a qualifier, beating David Goffin on the way, but his two most recent matches saw him losing to the world no. 331 at the Quimper Challenger and to world no. 195 Nicolas Mahut in the first round of qualifying for Montpellier.

He backed up his big win over Medvedev – the fifth of his career over a top-20 opponent – with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over fellow qualifier Denis Kudla in Dubai. But one suspects that his journey will end against Monfils. The two have played once before, and although it was five years ago and on a different surface, Monfils won easily; Berankis moreover doesn’t have the explosive power to hit through Monfils and the French player has been doing an unusually good job of asserting himself on the court lately. I don’t think Monfils’s winning streak will last all week in Dubai, but it will take him to back-to-back ATP 500 semifinals before it’s broken.

Monfils vs Berankis Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships tennis is live from Dubai from 3pm local/11am GMT

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Monfils vs Berankis tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Monfils brings seven-match winning streak to Dubai 500 quarterfinals

Gael Monfils vs Ricardas Berankis live streaming, preview and predictions for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarterfinal match on Thursday 28 February: Rotterdam champion Monfils poised to make back-to-back 500 semifinals

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