Frenchman Monfils more than a wildcard

21:22, 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.
Kohlschreiber
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.
Querrey
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.

Gael Monfils has lived up to everything anyone would have hoped for during his time at the Heineken Open.

He beat Tommy Haas 3-6 7-5 6-3 in the quarterfinals last night, in two hours of thrilling tennis and today plays world No 5 David Ferrer in the second semifinal of the day.

It has all the credentials to be another stunning match.

Gael Monfils
SITTING ON THE JOB: Gael Monfils takes a seat on the baseline during his three-set thriller victory over Tommy Haas in the quarterfinals.

Monfils doesn't go out of his way to be a showman in the way Ilie Nastase did in the 1970s, it all just comes natural to him.

When asked last night if even he was surprised by some of his shots, he replied: "It depends which one.

"I am not being cocky, but some I know I can do. I did it in the past and I know I can do it because I have fun at practice and do it.

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"But some are ridiculous and that's good."

He does make it look all too easy at times, it is part of his brilliance, but it's also the frustrating side of his game.

He will go down 0-30 on his serve, looking like he can't be bothered playing anymore, but then he'll fire off a couple of aces and win a couple more baseline rallies to take the game.

He saved a remarkable 15 of the 17 break points last night, the type of statistic rarely seen in tennis.

"I never felt confident [of saving the break points], but I think my serve helped me a lot and I had a good percentage of first serves at those moments," Monfils said.

"I tried a couple of things and they worked, but I would love to have less break points to save, that would be better."

Having dropped to 99 in the world rankings because of a knee injury that kept him off the circuit for five months last year, Monfils is relishing being back in the big time and going so deep in an ATP tournament.

"I am happy because it has been a while since I won three matches in a row like this," he said.

"But still, I am not 100 per cent happy with the way I played because it was 99 per cent defence and I think I had much luck to win this match.

"I served good but in the end I need to be more aggressive and I'm not happy about that."

Monfils has won all three of his previous matches against Ferrer and he knows the Spaniard will run everything down, so the big issue for him will be his fitness.

"It is a massive challenge for sure and it will be very hard," Monfils said.

"I don't know how I will be tomorrow, if I will have sore legs or my back will be painful.

"But whatever happens I will compete, fight and try my best. I know David is a tough opponent and for sure it's going to be physical, but with myself I never know what's going to happen."

Fairfax Media