Schwartzman downs Monfils to reach Rio Open semis

Diego Schwartzman of Argentina
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - February 23, 2018 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina celebrates during his match against Gael Monfils of France. Reuters

Argentina's Diego Schwartzman edged Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4 to enter the semi-finals of the Rio Open tennis championships.

Schwartzman on Friday used his strong return game and speed to put constant pressure on Monfils' service games, breaking the Frenchman twice in each set to claim victory in one hour and 23 minutes, reports Efe.

In the first set, Monfils committed four doubles faults, won just 50 percent of his overall service points and only 25 percent of his second-serve points.

He fared slightly better on serve in the second set, although three more double faults proved costly.

With the win, Schwartzman got revenge for a five-set loss to Monfils at the 2015 French Open.

The Argentine will be the favourite on Saturday against Chilean first-time ATP Tour semi-finalist Nicolas Jarry, who upset Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 6-3 in Friday's first quarter-final.