The German is a man intent on adding a third ATP Masters 1000 trophy to his haul in 2021 and closed to within three wins of doing so with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over the 14th seed. For the second match in succession Zverev beat an opponent for the first time in four ATP Head2Head encounters, following his third-round win against Andy Murray.
He has now won 20 of his past 21 matches on hard courts, including runs to the Tokyo Olympics gold medal and Cincinnati trophy. The third seed struck 19 winners to Monfils’ 10 and just 11 unforced errors to his opponent’s 13.
“I did feel well on the court today. Obviously Gael is someone I haven’t beaten before so I know that I had to play my best tennis,” Zverev said on court. “I definitely was not far away even though I missed a few volleys ,but apart from that I felt pretty good.”
He won 76 per cent of first-serve points and was all over the Monfils’ second serve, winning 67 per cent of points. Zverev was particularly effective at net too, where he claimed 19 of 25 points.
Fritz Fires Past Sinner To Reach Indian Wells QFs
The first set was secured in just 25 minute and Monfils lifted his game as he stayed on serve to 3-4 before an error of judgment at the net proved costly in the second set. The high-flying Frenchman let Zverev’s backhand lob sail over only for it to drop in and the German went on to break for 5-3 on a winning backhand volley. Zverev closed out the contest in little more than an hour and booked a quarter-final clash with 31st seed Taylor Fritz.
“I always love [Indian Wells] but I’ve just never played well here,” he said. “But I did well in Cincinnati as well where I’d never won a match before this year and then I won the tournament, so hopefully this can be a similar week for me. I’m looking forward to it. I’m feeling well, I’m playing pretty OK tennis and hopefully it can continue this week.”