Gaël Monfils, qualified for the quarterfinals in Toronto: “Still a lot of work to get back to a decent ranking”

Gaël Monfils, qualified for the quarterfinals in Toronto:

Despite much more sparse stands than in his previous matches (not easy to be scheduled at the same time as Carlos Alcaraz), Gaël Monfils showed himself as diligent and focused on Thursday as against Chris Eubanks (7-6 (3 ), 6-7 (4), 6-1) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-4, 6-3). Opposed to the lucky loser Australian of Montenegrin origin Aleksandar Vukic (27 years old, 62nd in the world and recent finalist in Atlanta), the Frenchman constantly dominated the debates, his only little scare intervening when serving for the match at 6-4, 5 -4 (two break points saved). Still as strong as ever, “La Monf” once again gratified the Canadian public with a few frantic runs and slides. At almost 37 years old, the former world number 6 (fallen to 276th place) will play the 18th quarter-final of his career in the Masters 1000 next night.

“You once again played a very solid game. Did you know your opponent?
I knew he had won quite a few matches lately, that he was performing very well, but I didn’t know him very well. I just went to see the end of his match yesterday (Wednesday) against Korda. But my coach had analyzed his game well, and I listened to him. Once again, I served well, my forehand was effective, I moved well… Even if each match is complicated, it was solid. I hope to continue like this.

How does your body cope with the sequence of matches?
I’m tired, of course, but so far so good. I will try to recover well to be really well tomorrow (Friday). There, I feel a little sick, I don’t know what it is, but I’m confident to be 100% for my quarter-final.

“I like this game, and I make the effort on a daily basis”

Just a year ago, you seriously injured your foot in this same tournament (then played in Montreal), collapsing in pain on the court. It’s quite a wink to win again here, isn’t it?
It’s true, I was really hurt. But in the end, I took this injury as a good because it allowed me to stay with my wife who was pregnant. I saw the birth of my daughter, spent time at home, and had the chance to experience something even bigger. If it hadn’t been for all that, I think it would have been harder to bear the injury. What’s annoying is that I was 15th in the world at the time (actually 20th), I didn’t need to play that much to maintain my ranking. There, I still have a lot of work to get back to a decent ranking.

How do you find the necessary motivation?
I love this game, and I make the effort on a daily basis. I don’t know if it will last a few weeks, a few months, a few years…

Place now in the quarter-finals to Jannik Sinner, whom you know well (the Italian leads 3-1 in their face-to-face)…
Yes, it’s true. He beat me two years ago in the Sofia final (6-3, 6-4), the same year at the US Open (7-6 (1), 6-2, 4-6, 4- 6, 6-4). He’s in the top 10 and it’s going to be super complicated, but I can’t wait to play this quarter-final. »

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