By Ann Liguori
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gael Monfils is back in the US Open quarterfinals.
The 20th-seed advanced to the round of 8 for the first time since 2010 with a 7-5, 7-6 (6), 7-5 win over No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon in Queens.
The colorful 28-year-old from France hasn’t lost a set in this tournament, and that’s pretty darn good for a player who doesn’t use a coach.
If you watched Monfils in the second set, he looked like the intense heat and humidity was taking their toll. At one point, he was upset about something and stood to return Dimitrov’s service way up by the service box instead of behind the baseline. He eventually rallied to force a tiebreaker and then overcame a deficit to win it 8-6.
Dimitrov didn’t play poorly, but did double-fault on match point. Monfils won the key points, converting on three of four break points. Dimitrov, on the other hand, had eight chances to break serve, but came up empty each time.
Monfils’s best career finish in a Grand Slam tournament was a semifinal appearance at the French Open back in 2008. He advanced to the quarters at Roland Garros three other times, including in 2014. He was to play the winner of Tuesday night’s match between No. 2 Roger Federer and No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut.
Monfils has a quirky personality and he’s got some moves on the dance floor. This tournament is certainly a lot more fun with him in it.
Follow Ann on Twitter at @AnnLiguori
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