Unseeded 21-year-old, 6' 4" Gael Monfils of France reached the semifinals of Roland Garros on Thursday by winning the "battle of the hotties" in defeating No. 5 seed David Ferrer 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-1.
Monfils becomes the second consecutive black tennis player (from France!) to reach a major semifinal in 2008 after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga accomplished the same feat at the Australian Open, where he went on to lose the final against Novak Djokovic. Monfils will have to defeat No. 1 Roger Federer, who also won on Thursday (2-6 6-2 6-3 6-4) against 2007 Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez.
I thank Mad Professah for posting this and I'd just like to add a few thoughts as well.
Monfils is also the first Frenchman to make the semifinals in Paris in seven years. That's a long time between drinks. I could feel the pride of both his parents and the fans as they watched their son tough out a victory over one of the toughest players on the tour.
You just can't get a ball by Ferrer. Especially when you're playing from the back stop. Monfils couldn't win games with any ease until he stepped up into and dictated play with his powerful groundstrokes and intelligent tactics. Once he got into his groove late in the match, he frustrated Ferrer to the point of disgust. The Spaniard simply had no answers for the questions Monfils asked.
It's great to see a young player with such talent and superior athleticism finally play up to his potential in front of his family and country at his home Slam, no less.