Gael Monfils downs Haas in three sets

19:15, Jan 10 2013
Heineken Open 2013
Benjamin Becker from Germany returns a shot in his match with Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
Heineken Open 2013
Lukas Rosol on his way to losing his match with Benjamin Becker in straight sets.
Heineken Open 2013 gallery
A high gust of wind created a little havoc for the first umpire on court this morning.
Heineken Open 2013
Benjamin Becker lines up a serve on his way to winning his match with Lukas Rosol earlier today.
Heineken Open 2013
Igor Sijsling of Netherlands plays a backhand in his first round match against compatriot Matwe Middelkoop.
Heineken Open 2013
Matwe Middelkoop of Netherlands serves in his first round match against Igor Sijsling.
Heineken Open 2013
Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil plays a forehand during his first round match against David Goffin of Belgium.
David Goffin
David Goffin was spirited early in his match against Thomasz Bellucci before falling away to a straight sets loss.
Heineken Open 2013
Xavier Malisse of Belgium returns a shot in his match with Martin Klizan of Slovakia.
Heineken Open 2013
Martin Klizan of Slovakia fires a return during his match with Xavier Malisse today.
Xavier Malisse
Xavier Malisse showed great composure to claim an upset win in round one over seventh seed Martin Klizan.
Open 1
Australian Greg Jones receives medical attention during his qualifying match against Victor Hanescu of Romania on day one.
Open 2
Martin Kilzan, Slovakia, plays a backhand during his first round match against Belgian Xavier Malisse on day one.
Open 3
Greg Jones of Australia serves in his qualifying match against Victor Hanescu of Romania on day one.
Open 4
The artwork on the left leg of the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol as he walks back to his chair during his match against Benjamin Becker of Germany on day one.
Igor Sijsling
Igor Sijsling moves into the second round after beating fellow Dutchman Robin Haase.
Greg Jones
Greg Jones powered past Jurgen Melzer in the first round of the Heineken Open, beating the sixth seed 7-6(7) 6-2.
Dan King-Turner
Dan King-Turner in action during his first round loss.
Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils entertained the fans during his win in three sets over Benjamin Becker.
Heineken Tennis Open
Colombia's Santiago Giraldo during day 3 of the 2013 ATP Heineken Tennis Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Xavier Malisse during day three of the 2013 ATP Heineken Tennis Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Olivier Rochus on day three of the Heineken Open New Zealand.
Heineken Open 2013
Heineken promotion girls at the Heineken Open.
Philipp Kohlschreiber on his way to victory on day three of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Germany's Tommy Hass in training on day three.
Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils plays a shot between his legs during his straight sets win over Australian Greg Jones.
Tommy Haas
Tommy Haas was in blistering form in during his win over Igor Sijsling.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer hits a forehand during his three-set win over Lu Yen-Hsun.
Heineken Open 2013
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during day four of the Heineken Open New Zealand Quarter finals.
Heineken Open 2013
Belgium's Xavier Malisse in action on centre court in the quarter finals of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
A fan watches the Heineken Open.
Sam Querrey on day four of the Heineken Open.
Gel Monfils
Gel Monfils beat Tommy Haas to progress to the semifinals.
Heineken Open
Philipp Kohlschreiber from Gemany reacts as he wins the first semi final on day five of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Sam Querrey from the US stretches to return a ball from Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Heineken Open 2013
Philipp Kohlschreiber from Gemany on his way to winning the first semi final.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer celebrates his win against Gael Monfils.
Heineken Open 2013
David Ferrer beat Gael Monfils 6-1 6-2 in the second semi fianl of the Heineken Open.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer on his way to winning the Heineken Tennis Open.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer reacts to winning the Heineken Tennis Open for a record equaling forth time.

You couldn't ask for more.

Three-time defending champion David Ferrer will take on former world No 7 Gael Monfils in Friday's second semifinal - a match worthy of the tournament final - after the Monfils took out an epic three-set quarter-final battle with Tommy Haas.

The Frenchman, a fitting wildcard now ranked 99, served up 19 aces and saved an incredible 15 of 17 break points to claim a stunning 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 upset to prevent the third seed from advancing to the final four.

In three attempts, Ferrer has not beaten Monfils.

"All the semifinals are complicated. Gael Monfils is getting back. He was injured a long time and he's going to be a top player again," Ferrer said. "He's playing a lot of important matches."

A classic, high-class contrast of German efficiency versus unpredictable French flair was encapsulated in a gripping tennis encounter on Auckland's centre court.


This was easily the best match of the tournament, probably for some time. Drama, skill, tension - it had all the ingredients.  

Haas initially looked the complete package, displaying immaculate awareness of the angles as he cruised through the solid first set, taking it in 36 minutes after breaking Monfils twice.

To the delight of an appreciative full house, the flamboyant, popular and erratic underdog then found his A game. Well, for the most part.

Monfils mixed casual abandon with sublime shot making and pure entertainment - at one point he skied a ball and, knowing couldn't get to the return, tied his shoes laces as Haas creamed the winner.

At one break each leading into the 12th game of a heated second set, where Haas copped a code warning for swearing, Monfils broke once more to force a deciding third tie. Haas was clearly unimpressed. 

The 14-year veteran threw his racquet, frustrated he didn't take his chance to close out the match.

Age appeared to weary Haas in the final set - the 34-year-old was, after all, the oldest player left in the tournament.

Monfils surged back from 0-40 down to make a crucial hold in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead and didn't look back.

Earlier, Ferrer shock off his second-round struggles to blitz Lukas Lacko 6-2 6-1 in 54 minutes and register 10 wins in a row here.

Ferrer's all-court game and deft touch returned as he adjusted to the apparent quickening of the surface.

"I'm more convinced with my game today. I played much better than yesterday," he said.

"The first round it was difficult to play good. Yesterday it was a surprise with the court being fast. Today I know that. I try to improve my game and have more focus."

Kohlschreiber to face Querrey

It will be the big serving Sam Querrey against the all court player Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first semifinal of the Heineken Open tomorrow.

Querrey beat Canadian qualifier Jesse Levine 6-4 7-6 in the second match of the day with Kohlschreiber defeating Xavier Malisse from Belgium 7-6 6-4 earlier in the day.

Levine came through qualifying to make the quarterfinals and yesterday put in a superb performance to beat American Brian Baker in three sets.

But Querrey was another step up for him, serving 14 aces, compared to just three from Levine.

Kohlschreiber, who won this tournament in 2008, had one of the best years of his career last season and shot up to No 20 in the world rankings and he looks to be continuing that form in 2013.

It was a workman like, rather than thrilling performance against Malisse, who is ranked 62 in the world, but Kohlschreiber is generally a player gets better as the week goes on in Auckland.

Malisse did have a break point in the first set but was unable to grab it and the set eventually went into a tiebreak, which the second seeded German won 8-6.

The second set was almost as close with Kohlschreiber getting the solitary break of serve that confirmed his spot in the final four.

Kohlschreiber has played Querrey three times in the past with Querrey winning twice.

Their last meeting was on the clay at Roland Garros, where Querrey won in four sets.

Heineken Open results

Quarter-final singles

Gael Monfils (FRA) bt [3] Tommy Haas 3-6 7-5 6-3

[1] David Ferrer (ESP) bt Lucas Lacko (SVK) 6-2 6-1

[4] Sam Querrey (USA) bt [Q] Jesse Levine (CAN) 6-4 7-6(5)

[2] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt X Malisse (BEL) 7-6(6) 6-4

Quarter-final doubles

[1] Colin Fleming (GBR)/ Bruno Soares (BRA) bt Benjamin Becker (GER)/Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 6-4 6-3

Fairfax Media