Schwartzman downs Monfils to reach Rio Open semis

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Rio de Janeiro, Feb 24 (IANS) Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman edged Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4 to enter the semi-finals of the Rio Open tennis championships.

Schwartzman on Friday used his strong return game and speed to put constant pressure on Monfils’ service games, breaking the Frenchman twice in each set to claim victory in one hour and 23 minutes, reports Efe.

In the first set, Monfils committed four doubles faults, won just 50 per cent of his overall service points and only 25 per cent of his second-serve points.

He fared slightly better on serve in the second set, although three more double faults proved costly.

With the win, Schwartzman got revenge for a five-set loss to Monfils at the 2015 French Open.

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The Argentine will be the favourite on Saturday against Chilean first-time ATP Tour semi-finalist Nicolas Jarry, who upset Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 6-3 in Friday’s first quarter-final.

–IANS

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