Gael Monfils Ahead of Novak Djokovic in an Astounding Record, Trails Only to Rafael Nadal

Published 10/02/2021, 1:29 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 France’s Gael Monfils reacts during his first round match against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Gael Monfils is in the finals of the Sofia Open after he commandingly crushed Marcos Giron in the semi-finals. The Frenchman had total control over the match and has booked his place in an ATP final. Monfils is in the finals of an ATP tour for the first time in 2021.

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After a third-round exit at US Open 2021, Gael Monfils competed at Moselle Open in Metz, France. Monfils was looking good throughout the tournament but couldn’t go past Pablo Carreno Busta in the semi-finals.

Gael Monfils into his first ATP final in 2021

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The Frenchman, Gael Monfils, has definitely regained his form as he has comfortably reached the final of the Sofia Open in Bulgaria. The number two seed received a walkover in the first match against Ilya Ivashka, while he dominated in his next match against Gianluca Mager.

In the semi-finals, Monfils faced the American Marcos Giron. The first set was very challenging for both the players, however, Monfils performed admirably to take the first set. In the second set, Gael Monfils had total command and won it with a margin of 6-0. Surely, the semi-final win over Giron must have boosted Monfils’ confidence.

In the on-court interview, Monfils said, “It was a great match. At the beginning, Marcos was playing very solid. I could not find the exit door and at the end I found it. I am very happy as I was very solid. It was a very physical match with lots of long rallies. I am very happy to get through.”

Furthermore, he added, “I felt in his rhythm he was crushing the ball, so I wanted to change the speed a little and come to the net a little bit and step in. Just mix it up a little bit and I think that was key for me.”

Gael Monfils broke down in tears at the Australian Open 2021 as he was eliminated in the first round itself. However, the tough guy has fought his way back and will compete for his 11th ATP title at Sofia Open.

17th Consecutive years with at least one ATP final for Monfils

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 France’s Gael Monfils in action during his first round match against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

After beating Marcos Giron in the semi-finals, Gael Monfils has advanced into the finals of the Sofia Open. By doing so, the Frenchman has surpassed the World No. 1, Novak Djokovic. This is now the 17th year for Gael Monfils with at least one ATP final appearance since 2005. Earlier, Djokovic and Monfils were tied at 16 all, but the victory against Giron has brought him above Djokovic.

Though he has surpassed Djokovic, he’s still below Rafael Nadal, who currently holds this record with 18 consecutive years. Among the emerging players, there are Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev, and Diego Schwartzman, who all have been performing consistently for the last few years. Surprisingly, the 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is nowhere on the list.

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After achieving this astonishing record, Monfils took to Twitter to react to the post by ATP Tour. Clearly, the Frenchman is overwhelmed after accomplishing another milestone in his professional career.

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Although was having an average 2021 season, Monfils finally looks in great shape as he enters the finals of the Sofia Open. This is his first ATP finals since February 2020, when he won the Rotterdam Open against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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Atri Bhatt

174 articles

Atri Bhatt is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analyzing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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