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Monfils looking up after falling in love with the grass at last

 

By Robert Jones

Gael Monfils has revealed he has finally learned how to love grass after reaching Wimbledon's third round for the second year running.

Frenchman Monfils edged past Italy's Paolo Lorenzi 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) yesterday to book a clash with 11th seed Sam Querrey.

Even after beating Britain's Kyle Edmund in the second round last year, Monfils maintained he harboured a serious dislike for the grass.

But now the 31-year-old believes he has discovered a new-found appreciation for his least favourite surface.

"After years and years of improving slowly, finally I can say that I like the grass," said Monfils. "I'm happy with the way I've played in these two matches. I'm trying to like the grass as much now as I like playing tennis."

Canada's 13th seed Milos Raonic swept past Australian John Millman in straight sets, but in predictably attritional fashion, requiring three tie-breaks for victory.

Raonic drove home 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) to book a third-round clash with Dennis Novak, who toppled 17th seed Lucas Pouille in a fine five-set victory.

Big-serving Raonic revealed he has been battling a minor virus.

"I've just had a bit of a reaction, like a bit of a lung reaction, a virus," said Raonic. "I feel good, and the body has behaved (after a string of injuries)."

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