Frenchman Gael Monfils registered a huge shock at the Sofia Open when he usurped the second seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas to book his place in the semi-finals.
The seventh seed overcame the world number 12 Tsitsipas, in straight sets in their quarter-final that was played Friday. The previous Next Gen ATP Finals winner had come into the tournament having upset Roger Federer at the fourth round of the Australian Open but went down 6-3, 7-6 (5) to bow out of the tournament.
Interestingly that also made it Monfils’ biggest win on the ATP circuit since his victory over ninth ranked John Isner at the Vienna Open last year.
It was an early break for Monfils who took a 1-0 lead on the serve of Tsitsipas and that is all he needed to run through the opening set. The Frenchman needed three set-points to close it out in the first set.
In the second set, things went on serve and they headed into a tie-breaker in which the Greek took a 5-4 lead before Monfils recovered to win three points in a row to finish off the encounter.
Tsitsipas had entered the tournament on the back of a solid performance at the Australian Open, having sent the Swiss maestro Roger Federer packing in the fourth round. However, he was himself crushed in the semi-final by Rafael Nadal.
Monfils will now take on Radu Albot in the semi-final, after the Romanian got the better of Marcos Baghdatis in another quarter-final match. Baghdatis had earlier upset the top seeded Lucas Pouille in round two.
The other semi-final will see Tomas Berdych take on the seventh seeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert after both needed tough quarter-finals to get to the last-four stage.
Berdych beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 while Herbert had it slightly easier when he overcame the third seeded wild-card entrant Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 7-6 to get to the round of four.