The old man is still there. Dominating, on Sunday, 23 January, Serbian Miomir Kekmanovic (7-5, 7-6, 6-3), Gael Monfils, was invited to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. At 35 years old, a new youth or simply history restarting its course, after a long parenthesis that the main interested party wants to forget?
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After eighteen years of professional life in the courts, Gail Monfils really doesn’t like people talking about a new self or new enthusiasm in the twilight of her art. No, “La Monfe” (his nickname) hasn’t changed, just found the right settings for the time it failed. And too bad if it took him almost two years of research to find his traces, and above all to capitalize on this cursed epidemic that broke his morale.
a long standoff
Back in February 2020. He’s the best then, Gail Monfils, with nothing less than his best start to the season. Montpellier and Rotterdam lost with honors against Vishal Novak Djokovic (2–6, 7–6, 6–1), two consecutive successes at the tournament, and a semifinal in Dubai. But then comes Covid-19, the circuit shuts down for a while, and collapses. When business resumes, Gael Monfils doesn’t manage to adapt to tennis under a bubble. What’s the point of playing if he can’t share anything, neither with his loved ones nor with the public who is absent from the stands? Year 2020 he crosses it like a ghost.
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2021 begins badly from the start: a failure in the first round of the Australian Open against modest Finn Emil Rusuvuori. The extent of the damage is measured above all at a press conference, when Parisians burst into tears: “I train like a butcher and it doesn’t come to pass. I want to get up and say this nightmare is over, but here I am and I don’t know when it will stop. »
Not immediately anyway. Even if the player does not give up, and on the contrary dares to question himself. Thus he lets go of his coach, American Liam Smith, with whom he has been working since late 2018 and who nonetheless allowed him to gain momentum (a quarterfinal at the US Open in 2019). Gael Monfils adores Austrian Günter Bresnik, his experience (former coach of Boris Becker, Henri Leconte and most recently Dominic Thiem), but also his reputation as a coach with an iron hand. Collaboration surprises more than one. It does not give immediate results.
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After an injury and a package in Monaco, Gael Monfils makes just two short laps and then moves to Roland-Garros, defeated by Swede Mikel Yammer, 105And Global. , I can do better, I apologize to my fans who had to see this.Annoys French, who during the summer, however, plucks back the animal’s hair.
Proof at the US Open, where he is the last Frenchman to race, even though he is only in the third round. He loses against the Italian Jannik Sinner, but at the end of a marathon match where he finds the enthusiasm of the masses and the taste of Castane. “Deep inside me, there’s still a good feeling. It was beautiful. These are matches we want to play.”He made the remarks at a press conference.
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Gail Monfils is on the right track. He is still disappointed with a hamstring injury in the Paris-Bercy round of 16, where he had to challenge Novak Djokovic, but feels his relentlessness is finally paying off. Always looking for innovation, he trains with Austrian decathlete Dominic Distelberger (19) at the end of the year.And at the Rio Olympics).
He gains trust, enough to even change the equipment supplier. 21And Joins Artengo, the tennis brand of decathlons around the world. It’s a challenge, but clearly paying off. He started the 2022 season by winning the Adelaide tournament. “Last year, I don’t want to say that I was going to stop my career. But I lost faith in tennis.He is his 11. points on receivingAnd Way to put a trophy warning on the circuit: Bad parenthesis is off.
In Melbourne, Gail Monfils is truly faithful to her talent. “If he has a good game, he can beat anyone”, recently said his trainer. As of now, the Paris player has not dropped a single set in four matches. Also, and finally, taking advantage of a favorable twist of fate: in the round of 16, it was Novak Djokovic who could get him on the court. It was finally another Serb that he applied himself to reject. Without the gambler, and as a boss. The suit looks good on them.
Gael Monfils has qualified for the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the second time. The first was in 2016, and he lost to Canadian Milos Raonic. Parisian has reached this level of a Grand Slam tournament for the tenth time in his career (four times at Roland-Garros and four times at the US Open). A journey he shared with Yannick Noah took the last roller coaster ten times, including two in Melbourne. For another, in 1990, Yannick Noah reached the semi-finals by defeating future champ Ivan Lendl.
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