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Love match on for defeated Gael Monfils

DEFEAT: Gael Monfils

GAEL MONFILS, who suffered the heartache of US Open five-set quarter-final defeat on a tie-break on Wednesday (Sept 4), returns to the Arthur Ashe Stadium 24 hours later to cheer on his girlfriend Elina Svitolina.

Monfils managed to stave off four match points, although one was a double fault, before bravely bowing out to Italian Matteo Berrettini 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5).

And Monfils, bidding to reach his maiden semi-final at Flushing Meadows, tasted defeat largely down to his serving problems. He hit two of his 17 double faults in the tie-break, with the enthralling encounter concluding under the closed roof after a gruelling three hours 57 minutes.

COMPETITION: Elina Svitolina will face Serena WIlliams in the US Open

It was an agonising defeat for 33-year-old Monfils, the last French representative at this year's major, and added to his New York woe five years ago when he squandered two match points at the same stage to Swiss star Roger Federer.

Whilst no.24 seed Berrettini will be back at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the world's largest tennis arena with the capacity for 23,000 spectators, to face legendary Spaniard Rafael Nadal it is Monfils who will be back there before him. The French veteran is set to encourage Croatian no.5 seed Svitolina for her showdown with American icon Serena Williams on Thursday (Sept 5).

Both of these semi-finals are highly anticipated to be close encounters, but this knockout blow for Monfils has prolonged France's 36-year wait for a men's Grand Slam Singles champion.

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