Who will stop Gael Monfils? Not the Japanese Yasutaka Uchiyama, beaten Wednesday in Dubai 6-1, 6-2 by the French N.1 who signs his 11th victory in a row and offers himself a Franco-French duel in a quarter against Richard Gasquet.
Opposed to the 99th player in the world, the N.9 at ATP quickly imposed its law in the first set. The second run was more hung but ended with a score as dry.
Winner of the Montpellier and Rotterdam tournaments during the first half of February, Gael Monfils will test his card of invincibility against his compatriot Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals.
Earlier in the afternoon, the 33-year-old Bitterrois won another French-French match, beating Benoît Paire 6-4, 6-4.
In the first set, the 56th world player made the break at the right time, in the ninth game, before confirming his serve and pocket the sleeve.
The scenario was repeated in the second round: despite a pair recovery from 4-2 to 4-4, Gasquet took his throw-in then concluded on his service game.
The French N.2 has undoubtedly paid for the efforts made on Tuesday: Pair had to fight more than 2.5 hours, and ruled out four match balls, to get rid of the winner of the 2014 US Open Marin Cilic.
Fourth French competing in Dubai, Pierre-Hugues Herbert lost to the British Daniel Evans 5-7, 6-3, 6-7 (9/7) after a particularly hungry match – almost three hours of play.
In the next round, Evans (37th) will face Russia’s Andrey Rublev (14th), who beat Serbian Filip Krajinovic in straight sets 7-6 (7/3), 6-0.
Among the heavyweights of the circuit entered Wednesday in the Emirates, Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas easily passed into the quarter-finals.
The Serb, world number one, garnered his 15th consecutive victory with disconcerting ease, dismissing the 36-year-old German veteran, Philipp Kohlschreiber, in 1h01, 6-3, 6-1.
He will face the Russian Karen Khachanov, seeded N.7, winner of the Austrian Dennis Novak, on Thursday.
Tsitsipas had little more trouble defeating Kazakh Alexander Bublik, with a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 victory, four days after dominating him in the Marseille Tournament semifinals, than he has won.
The 22-year-old Greek will continue his road against the German Jan-Lennard Struff to try to contest a second consecutive final in Dubai, after his defeat last year against Roger Federer.