Five French players were in quarter-final action in Montpellier on Friday and while three fell by the wayside, both Simon and Monfils reached the last four. Second seed Simon beat compatriot Guillaume Rufin in what was a hard-fought contest which lasted almost three hours. Simon eventually prevailed 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (2/7) 6-2 with his opponent’s game undermined by 11 double faults. Monfils, seeded three, has things easier, defeating veteran Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-3 6-3. Monfils lost just six points on his own serve and did not face a break point in the 54-minute match. The French pair will now face off on Saturday.
Top seed Tomas Berdych also eased through, seeing off another of the home hopes, Nicolas Mahut, 6-3 6-4. Richard Gasquet had hoped to complete a semi-final line-up featuring the top four seeds but he fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the last match of the day. Gasquet went down 6-2 3-6 6-3 as his German opponent blasted down 18 aces.