Monfils injures himself diving

Gael Monfils (AFP)
Gael Monfils (AFP)

Melbourne - Gael Monfils said he was lucky not to break any bones after a trademark acrobatic dive left him with a deep cut and bruises on the way to his first Australian Open quarter-final Monday.

The athletic Frenchman went airborne for an unsuccessful baseline volley during his four-set battle with Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov, to excited applause from the crowd.

Afterwards Monfils was left nursing a deep cut on his finger and bruising that left him unable even to hold a racquet - but he insisted he had no regrets about going for broke.

The 29-year-old won 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) in two hours, 37 minutes to reach the last eight for the first time in 11 attempts, with either Milos Raonic or 2014 winner Stan Wawrinka up next.

"It's very painful. I cannot even grip anything right now. I have a deep cut. That's nothing. But I have a bruise. I'm lucky to do not have fracture," Monfils told reporters.

"During the point, I feel that I can have it. So I just do it because I think I have the ability to do it. But you know, I'm not a rock."

Asked whether he ever regrets his signature dives around the court, Monfils replied: "No, never."

"It's like instinct," he added. "Like some soccer player, I don't know how to say it in English, but they jump and they do it. It's just natural.

"I always say, people think it's like why I will throw myself to the floor for nothing. I do it because I know I can do it. That the only thing. People need to understand that if I dive, it's because I know I can dive."

The 23rd seed broke Kuznetsov's service three times and lost his own serve twice in reaching his overall seventh Grand Slam quarter-final.

Monfils won 81 percent of his first serves and he said it was important factor against Kuznetsov.

"I focused on my serve, I needed to be because he was striking the ball very good and the... free points (aces) helped me a lot to get through," he said.

He added: "It's great. I'm very happy to get through to the quarters and I'm already focused on my quarter-final. I have had a great week, and I hope to have a wonderful second week."

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