Thiem powers past Monfils, into French Open quarters

Paris (AFP) –


Fourth seed Dominic Thiem cruised past the dangerous Gael Monfils in straight sets on Monday to reach his fourth successive French Open quarter-final.

Last year's runner-up won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on a packed Court Philippe Chatrier to set up a last-eight tie against either 10th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov or two-time semi-finalist Juan Martin del Potro.

"I love playing here and I hope I can be on this court again on Wednesday," he said.

The 25-year-old Thiem, still looking for his first Grand Slam title despite reaching the Roland Garros semis in each of the last three years, hit 27 winners in an efficient performance as the erratic Monfils made 33 unforced errors.

The 14th seed's defeat leaves home nation France without a men's singles player in the quarter-finals for the third successive year.

From 2008 until 2016 there was always at least one Frenchman in the last eight.

Thiem surged into a 5-1 lead in the opening set before Monfils briefly rallied, but it was one-way traffic after that, with the Austrian pulling off one magnificent 'tweener' shot between his legs.

"When it goes in, it's called a hot-shot," he said.

On Monday, Thiem had suggested to Eurosport that 23-time women's Grand Slam champion Serena Williams had a "bad personality" after the bizarre row over him being booted out of his own press conference so that Roland Garros organisers could accommodate the American superstar.