2014/04/18

In All-French Final, Monfils Beats Gasquet for Montpellier Crown

 

(February 9, 2014) Gael Monfils captured his fifth ATP World Tour title in his 21st final, defeating his good friend and defending champion, Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 to win the Open Sud de France in Montpellier for the second time.
“This is unbelievable for me,” Monfils said.”I had some back problems at the beginning of the week and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play, so to now be with the trophy is pretty crazy.

“I have been elevating my game match after match and I am extremely proud in the way I played today. I really enjoy playing here in Montpellier. I love the atmosphere there is in this arena.”

“It was great to be in final here once again,” Gasquet said. I am extremely disappointed to have lost in the final, but that’s tennis. I need to congratulate Gael because he’s played unbelievable all week.

“I wasn’t able to read his serve, he was serving bullets all match. My only way out was to try to push him to a tie-break and wait for him to start making mistakes. But it didn’t happen.”

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Nadal Win Easy as 1-2-3

Nadal fingers

(January 18, 2014) No. 1 Rafael Nadal dismissed Gael Monfils, topping the Frenchman for the 10th time in 12 tries in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open. Nadal missed last year’s tournament during his seven-month layoff due to a knee injury.

Nadal won 72% of points on his first serve and  6 for 12 on break points. The Spaniard had only 18 unforced errors to Monfils’ 57 during the match.

Nadal will play Kei Nishikori for a place in the quarterfinals.

Here is Nadal’s post-match news conference:

Q.  Do you think you are unstoppable in the form you performed tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No.  At the end no one is unstoppable.  Tonight I think I played a great match.  Very happy the way that I played against a very tough opponent like Gaël.  So that makes the level that I played tonight better because was against tough opponent.  Good player like Gaël always very difficult to play against.

That’s it.  Just one very good day.  That makes me feel confident, but I am in fourth round.  That’s all.

 

Q.  What are you most happy with in your game right now?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, today I think I have to say that I played well from everywhere, no?  I think I played very well with my forehand.  Very good control of the ball.  Good winners.  Movements were great tonight.

Backhand very good I think.  Very good, close backhands.  That give me the opportunity to open the court.  Then with my forehand, when I able to hit that cross backhand.

And then again today for the first day in the tournament, the forehand down the line worked great.  That’s a shot that give me a lot when this shot is working.  So that’s the most important part of my game.  It worked well.

If we can add to that, I didn’t lose serve during the whole match.  That’s another good thing.

 

Q.  Obviously the game today is really physical.  Do you find it more difficult to get over the mental aspects or the physical yourself?
RAFAEL NADAL:  The tougher thing is the injuries, in my opinion, no?  Mental part is very important.  I think what makes the mental part very hard is we play lot of months.  Lot of players are ready to compete well for all months, no, for every month.  That makes the competition very difficult.

That’s let you play at your 100% from January to November if you want to have the chance to be in the top positions of the ranking.

But most important thing is the health.  Then mental part is something that you can control.  Is in your hands be well mentally, be fresh, be with motivation.  But the injuries is something that you cannot control, so that’s tougher thing.

 

Q.  Could you talk about your next matchup.
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah, Kei is a great player.  He’s able to play very aggressive, make very easy the very difficult things.  He’s very quick on the movements.  Will be a very tough opponent for me.  I think he had a very good victory today.  He’s playing great.  Will be a tough one.

I need to keep playing the way that I played tonight.

 

Q.  You have played against Kei on all different surfaces.  On which surface do you think Kei would be the toughest to play against?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I think Kei is a really complete player that can play on every surface.  But I think hard is the surface for him.  I think when he’s playing on hard he feels comfortable.  Is it favorite surface, I feel.

But you can ask him (smiling).

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Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Gael Monfils withdraw from tournaments

Venus Williams RG Wilson

Venus Williams

(January 5, 2014) Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Gael Monfils have withdrawn from tennis tournaments this week.

Venus Williams who was a losing finalist in Auckland, pulled out of the Hobart International on Sunday.

No. 12 Sloane Stephens is out of Sydney with a left wrist injury she suffered at Hopman Cup

“I was having some pain in my wrist and the doctor recommended I not play this week,” Stephens said via a press release.”This is a difficult decision, but the best decision for me and my team to make. I hope to be back at the Apia International Sydney next year.”

 

Monfils, who fell to Rafael Nadal in the Doha final on Saturday, cited fatigue in pulling out of the Auckland tournament.

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In Victory John Isner Surprised By All the Support for Opponent Gael Monfils

862013 16 Isner

(August 29, 2013)  FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In a tennis atmosphere that could have been Roland Garros instead of Flushing Meadows, 13th seed American John Isner defeated former top ten player Gael Monfils of France 7-5, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the second round of the US Open amongst a crowd in which many of whom were cheering for Monfils.

“I noticed it,” Isner said of the cheering for Monfils in Louis Armstrong Stadium. “You know, he’s a fun loving guy and an exciting guy to watch no matter where he is playing, but honestly it was a little bit surprising. You know, I know the New York fans, they like to see long matches and fifth sets and whatnot, but, you know, it’s not like there was no one cheering for me. I was a little bit disappointed in that, actually. Not going to sugar coat it. It was certainly, if I was playing him in France, it certainly wouldn’t be like that.”

Asked if he had ever played in an atmosphere like this in the US, the 6’ 10” North Carolinian said:”No. I mean, the crowd support, it was a great atmosphere, it was a lot of fun, I’m not saying it wasn’t. You know, I played a similar match when I played Tommy Haas in Paris. I had about five people cheering for me, and those were the five people in my box. So the French people were cheering for the German there I could say something else, but I’m not going to. No, it was fun overall. It was a lot of fun, and when the match finally ended, to be able to soak it in, was a lot of fun.”

At the end of the fourth set tiebreaker, chants of “USA, USA” could be heard.

I certainly had I just had a lot of crowd support on my side,” said Isner. “I had a college buddy of mine I noticed in the crowd, and in the opening point he was hammered. Every time they were chanting “Monfils” I could hear him, his voice is pretty booming, and he didn’t like that too much, Iner said smiling. “But, you know, no, once I got up I guess it was, yeah, 6-4 in the tiebreaker, the USA chant was pretty cool.”

“He (Monfils) enjoys atmospheres more than anyone else in the world. He wants to soak it up and play to the crowd more than anyone, really. That’s just how he is. Like I said, he’s a fun loving guy and enjoys playing matches like that. For me, I didn’t want to get involved in a little hit and giggle thing with him and try and get going back and forth, where I just wanted to stay focused. I didn’t want to keep it I didn’t want it to be too friendly out there even though he’s a very good friend of mine.”

“It was surprising, actually,” Monfils said of the cheers. “It was surprising — but it was good.”

Next hurdle for Isner is Philipp Kohlschrieber. It’s crazy, playing him in the third round just as I did last year at this event,” said Isner. “That match last year was very disappointing for me how it went about. I sort of lost it I lost it in the fifth set there, but he’s extremely solid. He’s been so solid for so long now. He’s made his way through his first matches pretty easy, as well. Going to be a tough match.”

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Wild Card Monfils Stuns Fifth Seed Berdych at Roland Garros

Monfils in DC

(May 27, 2013) Wild card Gael Monfils of France gave his home country some major excitement  at Roland Garros on Monday when he toppled fifth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the first round  7-6 (8), 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-7 (4), 7-5 on Court Phillipe Chatrier.

The former top ten player and 2008 French Open semifinalist who is coming back from a knee injury lost in the final of the Nice Open this past Saturday.

The world No. 81 Monfils rocketed 26 aces past Berdych and lost his serve only once in the four hour three minute contest. Berdych had 57 unforced errors to Monfils’ 44.

The match which lasted four hours, ended when Berdych hit a backhand long.

“I had one chance in the fifth set, “Berdych said.  “I didn’t make it.  He made one, so he made it.  That’s absolutely what was the difference between us today.”

The Czech has now lost in the first round of a major a total of 10 times, at least once for seven consecutive years.

Monfils will play Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis in the second round.

More to follow…

 

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Montanes Wins Nice Open

 

(May 25, 2013) Albert Montanes of Spain won his sixth ATP Tour title by defeating French wild-card Gael Monfils 6-0, 7-6 (3) for the Nice Open.

“I was not supposed to play here in the first place,” Montanes said. “I was in my home town, 200km from Barcelona, with friends when I found out I was entering the main draw last Saturday night. So it’s pretty incredible that I am here now with the Nice trophy.

“No doubt the fact that I came here with no pressure, just happy to play, taking it day-by-day and match-by-match, helped me win this week.

“I knew I could defeat Gael and today I was very solid the entire match, hitting very deep and playing well in the crucial points.”

“I tried my best today,” Monfils said but I faced a better player than me and I want to congratulate him for his title. I tried different things, but it didn’t work. He was just better than me. I played a lot of matches in the past two weeks and I felt maybe a bit tired physically and mentally.

“Overall, it was a great week for me and I want to thank the sponsors and the tournament for giving me a wild card. I played some really good matches and I hope to be back next year.”

The world No. 82 Montanes will move into the top 50 in next week’s rankings.

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Monaco to Defend US Men’s Clay Court Championship

houston

(February 14, 2013) HOUSTONArgentina’s Juan Monaco will defend his US Men’s Clay Court Championship title when the tournament returns to River Oaks Country Club April 8-14, and he will be accompanied in the field by American Sam Querrey and Frenchman Gael Monfils.

These three players join the previously announced commitments from top-ranked American John Isner and Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco in the singles field and American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the doubles field.

These singles entries put five players from the Top 25 of the current ATP World Tour rankings into the field for the tournament at River Oaks. As of Monday, Almagro was No. 11, Monaco No. 15, Isner No. 16, Querry No. 20 and Verdasco No. 24.

“We always take pride in exposing our fans to new players, so it is with great pleasure we can have guys like Monfils, Almagro and Verdasco making their River Oaks debut this year,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “We are also happy to welcome back familiar faces. Juan Monaco was a popular champion last year, and the group of Americans we have returning have long been fan favorites here in Houston.”

Monaco will try to be the first repeat champion of the event since the recently retired Andy Roddick won back-to-back titles in 2001-02. The win at River Oaks last year was one of his career-high four titles in 2012. He has reached at least one clay court final in seven of the past eight seasons, and six of Monaco’s seven career titles have come on clay.

Querrey teamed with James Blake to win the 2012 doubles title at River Oaks. He’s also enjoyed singles success, reaching the final in 2010. He has won seven titles while appearing in 12 finals in his career, and earlier this month helped the US reach the Davis Cup quarterfinal with a pair of singles wins against Brazil.

Monfils has finished in the Top 20 in the World in four of the past five seasons. He has reached 17 career ATP finals, winning four titles. He was a finalist twice early in 2012 before a knee injury forced him to miss nearly four months. He already has reached one semifinal and another quarterfinal early in 2013.

In last year’s final, Monaco defeated Isner, who in 2012 reached the Top 10 for the first time. Almagro has led the ATP in clay court match wins three times in the past five seasons and is one of only four players with over 200 career clay court wins. Verdasco has reached 10 career clay court finals and finished in the Top 25 in five straight seasons.

The Bryan Brothers are the World No. 1 doubles team and four-time champions at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship. They own the record for Grand Slam titles with 13 together as well as total career titles together with 84.

Additional player commitments as well as a full schedule of special events will be announced in the weeks leading up to the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship.

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Del Potro Defeats Monfils, Nieminen Serves Goffin Double Bagel

delpotro

(February 12, 2013) Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro stopped Gael Monfils of France 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the second of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Del Potro just needed a single break in each set to take the match. DelPotro was the runner-up in last year’s final, losing to Roger Federer.

In the last match of the day, Jarkko Nieminen destroyed David Goffin 6-0, 6-0 in an hour. It was just the second “double bagel” to be recorded in the tournament’s history and the first since 1987.

Roger Federer, the top seed and defending champion in the event will take to the court on Wednesday against Grega Zemlja.

 

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 12 FEBRUARY, 2013

Singles – First Round
[2] J Del Potro (ARG) d [WC] G Monfils (FRA) 63 64
[WC] T de Bakker (NED) d M Youzhny (RUS) 36 76(2) 41 ret. (hip)
J Benneteau (FRA) d *[LL] T Kamke (GER) 63 62
J Nieminen (FIN) d D Goffin (BEL) 60 60
[Q] E Gulbis (LAT) d R Haase (NED) 62 61

**[LL] T Kamke (GER) replaced M Llodra (FRA) – illness

Doubles – First Round
[1] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d R Bopanna (IND) / R Ram (USA) 76(2) 63
J Benneteau (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA) d [2] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 75 62
[4] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d B Paire (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 76(4) 36 10-5
J Knowle (AUT) / F Polasek (SVK) d M Baghdatis (CYP) / G Dimitrov (BUL) 76(4) 61

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 13 FEBRUARY, 2013

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[WC] T de Bakker (NED) / J Huta Galung (NED) vs [WC] R Haase (NED) / I Sijsling (NED)

Not Before 12:30 PM
V Troicki (SRB) vs [4] R Gasquet (FRA)

Not Before 1:30 PM
B Paire (FRA) vs M Baghdatis (CYP)
[Alt] S Fransen (NED) / W Koolhof (NED) vs C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR)

Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs G Zemlja (SLO)
N Davydenko (RUS) vs G Dimitrov (BUL)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[6] A Seppi (ITA) vs [Q] M Bachinger (GER)
[Q] M Viola (ITA) vs [5] G Simon (FRA)
J Benneteau (FRA) vs V Hanescu (ROU)
T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) vs [Alt] J Janowicz (POL) / J Nieminen (FIN)

 

 

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Chef Pierrick Boyer Serving Taste of Tennis Down Under

Pierrick Boyer

(January 4, 2013) The Australian Open is less than two weeks away and with the anticipation of an upcoming major, Melbourne will play host many pre-tournament soirees. One of the very special events will be the Swisse Taste of Tennis – where the culinary world meets the tennis world to raise funds for charity. This is the sister event to the Taste of Tennis in New York which has kicked off the US Open for the past 13 years.

Some of the tennis players scheduled to participate in the event include Lleyton Hewitt, Max Myrni, Tamira Paszek, Ivan Lendl, Lucia Safarova, Casey Dellacqua, Anastasia and Arina Rodionova, Yaraslava Shvedova and Chanelle Scheepers.

Tennis Panorama News caught up with award-winning international pastry chef, Melbourne resident Pierrick Boyer, who will be one of the featured chefs at Taste of Tennis. Boyer has 21 years in the field working with some of the industry’s most internationally renowned chefs.

Boyer has participated in the event four times. “Let’s not forget it’s a charity event and it is one of my favorite events of the year,” Boyer emphasized. “It is fun, there is beautiful food, we talk about sports and there are great people who want to make a difference. I love giving my time for charities, tennis, food and promoting Melbourne.” Boyer is the Head Pastry Chef of Le Petit Gâteau in Melbourne.

“Yes, I am a big (tennis) fan,” Boyer said. “I’ve been to the Indian Wells Tournament, because I lived nearby for five years and, of course, the Australian Open where, luckily, I did some cooking classes for the tennis players. I had the pleasure to meet Aleksandra Wozniak, Arina and Anastasia Rodionova, Gael Monfils and Henri Leconte, Mansour Bahrami, who are fantastic to see on the court. And I used to play years ago,” Boyer said with a smile.

I asked Boyer if he thought there was a similarity between chefs and tennis players, since both have intense training and travel all over the globe. Also many of players seem to be “foodies.”

“I agree,” said Boyer.” We have this in common with some chefs who travel the world and I am lucky I can do this as well, several countries are already scheduled for my desserts making workshops overseas. But the life of a tennis player is hard as well, loads of traveling and that’s a lot of time away from home.”

As far as which tennis players he thinks would be good pastry chefs, he tips Arina Rodionova and Aleksandra Wozniak. “With a bit of practice Arina Rodionova could be because I know she enjoys my pear and almond tart. She had this for her birthday.”

“Aleksandra Wozniak really enjoyed my signature cake, the brownie passion chocolate crunch, at a previous Taste of Tennis event,” Boyer added.

So what inspired him to launch a career in the world of pastry? “At four or five years old, we were living next to a pastry shop at Croissy Sur Seine, near Saint Germain en Laye! And every time my parents were looking for me, I was next door sampling ice creams, cakes, croissants… hahaha.”

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As far as what special dish he will be preparing for Taste of Tennis, he saidIt’s a gluten free, dairy free, very healthy dessert.”

It’s a Coconut Quinoa organic blueberry, raspberry, coconut crumble. Boyer told me to enjoy it with Gold Label 2011 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.

The Swisse Taste of Tennis takes place on January 10, 2013 at Grand Hyatt Melbourne from 7pm-10pm with an after party at Silk Road Melbourne. Tickets for the event can be purchased at http://www.swisseactivetasteoftennis.com.au

The event benefits the charities Diabetes Australia-Victoria and National Institute of Integrated Medicine (NIIM), which will receive 100% of the proceeds raised.

Follow @tasteoftennisau for more information and follow Pierrick Boyer on twitter @PierrickBoyer or his website http://www.pierrickboyer.com/.

 

Karen Pestaina is the woman behind Tennis Panorama News

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French Paper Reports Monfils’ Knee Injury Could Endanger Career

Gael Monfils

The French newspaper L’Equipe is reporting on its website that the right knee injury which prompted Frenchman Gael Monfils’ withdrawal from the Japan Open may endanger his career.

Monfils is scheduled to visit a physician in Paris to have his knee examined.

Monfils is currently ranked No. 44 in the world.

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