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Monfils vs Verdasco ATP Vienna live streaming, preview and tips - Monfils aiming to snap two-match losing run against Verdasco in quarter-finals

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 26 Oct 2018
  • Gael Monfils vs Fernando Verdasco is live from Vienna around 6.00pm local time on Friday (5.00pm BST)
  • Monfils leads their head-to-head 3-2, but Verdasco has won their last two meetings
Gael Monfils (Photo by HANS PUNZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Antwerp runner-up Gael Monfils tries to avenge a recent defeat to Fernando Verdasco in Beijing when the pair clash for a place in the Erste Bank Open semi-finals in Vienna on Friday night.

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Gael Monfils and Fernando Verdasco, two of the more enigmatic and flashier veteran players on tour, square off for the sixth time with a place in the ATP 500 Vienna semi-finals up for grabs on Friday.

Coming into the Erste Bank Open on the back of a runner-up showing in Antwerp last week to Kyle Edmund, Monfils has continued his winning momentum in Vienna, defeating Steve Johnson in three sets in the opening round before dealing a blow to John Isner’s Nitto ATP Finals aspirations in the second round, toppling the towering American 6-4 6-4 in a surprisingly efficient scoreline, breaking once in each set and saving the only break point he faced throughout the one hour and nine minute triumph.

An extended run of form from Monfils is nice to see, especially after his career-best season in 2016 - where he won the biggest title of his career at the ATP 500 Citi Open and made the U.S. Open semi-finals (along with qualifying for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals) to reach a career-high ranking of No. 6 - was followed by a nightmare run of injuries in 2017, a season where he was restricted to far less tournaments and ended up with a year-end ranking of No. 46, which was his lowest since 2013.

Monfils has rebuilt his ranking to a current mark of No. 33 (he’s currently up to No. 30 in the live rankings), starting 2018 with a bang by winning the Doha title, reaching the quarter-finals in Rio de Janeiro and the semi-finals in Buenos Aires, while he also made the semi-finals in Antalya and the Round of 16 at Wimbledon during the grass season. The Frenchman only played two tournaments after Wimbledon and before the Asian swing, losing in the second rounds of Hamburg and the U.S. Open, and clearly in search of more confidence and wins, Monfils dropped down to the Challenger circuit and subsequently picked up the title in Kaohsiung.

However, Monfils wasn’t able to build on that triumph and lost in the first rounds of Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai during the Asian swing. But in typical Monfils fashion, he bounced back out of nowhere to reach the European Open final in Antwerp last week, defeating the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Diego Schwartzman before falling in an extremely close title match to Kyle Edmund, 6-3 6-7(2) 6-7(4) - and he’s continued his promising form in reaching the Vienna quarter-finals this week.

Fernando Verdasco (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, Fernando Verdasco has advanced into the Vienna quarter-finals with a pair of hard-fought three-set victories, taking out the big-serving Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-7(6) 6-3 6-4 in the opening round before toppling recently-crowned Antwerp champion Edmund 6-4 3-6 6-3 to earn a showdown with Monfils on Friday night.


A former World No. 7, Australian Open semi-finalist, Monte-Carlo Masters runner-up and a winner of seven ATP World Tour titles with a total of 27 top 10 victories, Verdasco remains one of the most dangerous players on tour despite falling to rank inside the top 20 for the last six years now. Indeed, this is the first season since 2010 (and just his second overall) where Verdasco has managed to beat three top 10 players in a single season, further illustrating just how formidable he still is against the very best players in the world. Two of those scalps came over the struggling Grigor Dimitrov, defeating the Bulgarian to reach the third round of the Indian Wells Masters before doing so again to make the fourth round of the French Open, where he was ultimately eliminated by Novak Djokovic. The other came against Dominic Thiem at the ATP 500 Rio Open, where Verdasco would also beat Fabio Fognini before going down in the final to Diego Schwartzman.

Currently 29-26 for the season, Verdasco has found himself in a fair share of controversy lately, including a run to the third round of the U.S. Open after beating Andy Murray and with the Scot accusing him of talking to his coach during a break in play off the court, while he was also condemned for angrily gesturing towards a ballboy during a loss to Yoshihito Nishioka in the Shenzhen Open semi-finals last month. Regardless, Verdasco has been playing some of his best tennis in years this season and is on course to end a year inside the top 30 for the first time since 2013.

Can the Spaniard earn a third win over Monfils on the bounce in Vienna? The Frenchman won their first three encounters, but Verdasco has emerged triumphant in their last two, including Dubai last year and in Beijing a few weeks ago, where he won 2-6 7-6(3) 7-6(5). Two of the more unpredictable players on tour, this is one of those match-ups that can really go either way - it just depends who is striking the ball better on the day. Both players are sublime shotmakers and underrated servers, and if they are operating at their best, it should be a treat to watch, but I’m going to lean with Monfils to continue his momentum and advance into the semi-finals.


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Monfils vs Verdasco ATP Vienna live streaming, preview and tips - Monfils aiming to snap two-match losing run against Verdasco in quarter-finals

Antwerp runner-up Gael Monfils tries to avenge a recent defeat to Fernando Verdasco in Beijing when the pair clash for a place in the Erste Bank Open semi-finals in Vienna on Friday night.

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