Both of these guys qualifying for this quarter final impressively in straight sets, John against Russia’s Rublev and Gael against Frances Tiafoe. The quality of the serves has been top notch in Toronto this week and that trend continued in this match. I just feel so uncomfortable when John is in a rally, his body language screams I am not comfortable with this but in the following point he really handles it quite well despite losing the point to a majestic shot. Watch 2-2(15-0 Isner), he gets down well to play the slice lob which isn’t easy for a player of his height. Was it a fresh air shot by Monfils there before the between-the-legs forehand, or was the ball dummied on purpose? I think he missed the ball(got you Gael). John had a superior first serve percentage to Gael which probably tipped the balance of the match in his favor(70% to just 49% for the Frenchman). How on earth do you return this serve? Watch the breaker at 6-5. John has like an eye on the ball as well as Monfils, a rare talent to have. John saw Gael move just before striking the ball. Impressive end to the first set.
If the first set was that close and entertaining surely we were in for a treat in the second. You bet 1-1(40-30). Gael can’t play an ordinary overhead at the net, oh hell no, not with people watching. Some nice service variation from John there at 2-1 deuce. The slice motion on the racquet taking the ball away from court and the opponent and John has Gael and the court at his mercy. At the end of the day the tennis player is human just like you and me, so Gael can have a bad service game which happened at 4-4. That doesn’t erase the great tournament he had, not at all. That single break the only one of the match was enough to get the win for John. What a way to end the match with a love service game and exclamation point serve at 40-0. John will face Daniil in the semi tomorrow.