‘A Horrible Year’: Gael Monfils Wants To Eliminate Year 2021 From His Tennis Career

Published 01/03/2022, 9:25 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 France’s Gael Monfils before his first round match against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


French World No. 21 Gael Monfils does not look at the past year and a half with fondness. The 10-time ATP title winner had seemed like a resurgent force a couple of years ago. However, when the pandemic shook the world and caused the suspension of all sports, things changed drastically for the Frenchman.

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Back in January 2021, just a year ago, Gael Monfils received a shocking upset in the very first round of the Australian Open. In fact, he admitted himself that empty stadiums and silent stands were a huge reason for his dip in performance.

2021 does not exist for Gael Monfils

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Gael Monfils, back in 2021, had talked about his own game after tennis resumed. He had expressed unhappiness with his game, his shots and even his positioning on the court. Moreover, he was forthright in admitting that he felt no confidence at all.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021. France’s Gael Monfils reacts during his first-round match against Australia’s Christopher O’Connell. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Now, speaking with French sports news outlet The Team, Monfils looked back on the years that the pandemic gripped the world, and its after-effects. He spoke about how the past two years affected him.

“It undermined me. When I tried to come back, it was very complicated,” Monfils expressed. Then, he mentioned how the stadiums were opened for matches, but only to players, and not for spectators.

“There was no audience. I had no energy, did not want to play in these conditions. It was very hard for me,” he shared.

 

However, it was not all grim for the 35-year-old. His marriage with WTA star Elina Svitolina, according to Monfils, is the only bright spot in an otherwise terrible 2021.

Such is the extent of the pain that the year caused him, that Monfils has made it a point to forget this very time. “I’m forgetting it this year. From mid-2020 to 2021, that no longer exists for me,” the star says determinedly.

Monfils feels good ahead of the 2022 season

Oct 10, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA. Gael Monfils (FRA) smiles after defeating Gianluca Mager (ITA) in his second-round match during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Gael Monfils came to Australia a renewed man. In his own words, he feels well and has been working himself out very hard. Thus, a little rest is on the cards for Monfils.

 

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“I don’t put too much pressure on these first tournaments,” Monfils shared. “The goal is to get in good shape in two weeks,” he stated, which is when the Australian Open 2022 is set to begin.

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This time, Gael Monfils is hungry for winning, and he is not afraid of stating his intent. I’m pretty good, with a lot of desire,” he claims.

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Samarveer Singh

251 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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