11th seed Lucas Pouille takes on 15th-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the Men's singles semi-final of 2017 Monte Carlo Masters on Saturday.
While top seeds Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka slipped early in the tournament, the two young players have made their way into the last-four round and are a win away from reaching their maiden Masters 1000 final.
Local star Pouille survived a thriller against Pablo Cuevas in his quarter-final outing yesterday. After winning the first and dropping the second set, the world number 17 was trailing 4-5 as the Uruguayan was serving for the match. However, rallied by the home crowd, the 23-year-old came back from behind to take the match 6-0, 3-6, 7-5.
On the other hand, Ramos Vinolas also fought back from behind to down fifth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in his last-eight clash, a day after he dumped Murray out of the tournament.
While Pouille had an easier route to the semi-final, having beaten lower-ranked players Ryan Harrison, Paolo Lorenzi and Adrian Mannarino, Ramos-Vinolas was made to work hard and he has come out on top, edging past top-ranked Murray and Cilic on successive days. The Spaniard has looked in fine form, coming with some brilliant display of tennis on the red dirt, on which he reached the quarter-final of French Open last year.
Ramos-Vinolas also started the 2017 season on clay and reached the semi-final in Rio de Janeiro before finishing as runner-up in Sao Paulo. While the wins over top-ranked players in the ongoing tournament will come as a big boost to his dreams of reaching his maiden final, the Spaniard needs to be wary of Pouille, the two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist, who will have the support of the home crowd today.