Darkness postpones Roger Federer’s French Open last 16 tie

Match against Gael Monfils will resume on Monday

 Gael Monfils of France and Roger Federerreact after their fourth round match was interrupted and postponed for the next day at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros. Photo: EPA

Gael Monfils of France and Roger Federerreact after their fourth round match was interrupted and postponed for the next day at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros. Photo: EPA

 

Roger Federer will have to come back on Monday to try to seal his place in the French Open quarter-finals after his match against Gael Monfils was suspended for darkness at one set all.

The pair got off to a late start in Paris after rain had earlier delayed play and while Federer clinched the opening set 6-3 in just 29 minutes, Monfils found form in the second to hit back 6-4.

Federer, who is second seed at Roland Garros, is looking to beat the Frenchman for the first time in three meetings on clay but Monfils, roared on by the home crowd, will provide a stern test when the duo resume play on Philippe Chatrier.

The winner will play eighth seed Stan Wawrinka in the last eight after the Swiss eased past France’s Gilles Simon 6-1 6-4 6-2.

Wawrinka has only dropped one set in his four matches so far and he made light work of Simon, winning in one hour and 51 minutes.

The match of the day came before Federer and Monfils took to the court, as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga knocked out fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2 6-7 (7/5) 6-3.

Tsonga looked on course for a comfortable win when he raced through the opening two sets but he failed to close out when serving for the match at 5-4 in the third.

Berdych clawed one set back but the French world number 15 held his nerve to seal an impressive victory.

“It was not easy because I played really well during three sets,” Tsonga said.

“When it was time to finish, I played a little bit differently and because he’s a good player, he came back into the match. Then I start to miss a little bit more.

“But I had a good reaction in the fourth and finally I won it. So it’s good for me.

“I’m happy to beat a guy like this, who is one of the best players at the moment.”

Tsonga will now face Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who cruised past Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, winning 6-3 6-4 6-2.

It is Nishikori’s second consecutive grand slam quarter-final after reaching the same stage at the Australian Open, and he has won four out of his five previous meetings against Tsonga.

“He’s a very good player,” Tsonga said.

“He’s younger than me. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s able to do many things on court.

“I had problems playing against him in the past, so for me it’s going to be the opportunity to take revenge and try to play my best tennis and try to reach the semis.”

Britain’s Andy Murray faces France’s Jeremy Chardy in the last 16 on Monday.

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