“I’m Asking for Mercy”: Gael Monfils in Tears After First-Round Exit at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/08/2021, 1:05 AM 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


Poor form in tennis can become something of a burden for players. And during this coronavirus period, players sometimes have trouble finding positivity. One such player is Gael Monfils, who lost his first-round match of Australian Open 2021, to an 86th ranked player. And evidently, the loss has hit Monfils a lot.

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In his post-match press conference, Monfils was in tears as he failed to understand his early-round exit. He described his tennis form as a ‘nightmare’.

“I would like to get out of this nightmare, but I can’t,” Monfils said.

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Gael Monfils after losing his first-round match against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Gael Monfils admits having no confidence

Low on confidence, Monfils is on a seven-match losing streak. The streak resumed in September 2020 at the Italian Open, but now has continued forward to 2021, and the player himself is not confident of when it could end.

“Don’t shoot me, I’m asking for mercy. I work like a butcher, but I have zero confidence. I do not feel well”

Monfils was teary and sad in the press conference room in front of the French reporters.

Monfils was the tenth seed at the Australian Open 2021. Overall, he is ranked 11th and is a 10-time ATP title winner. But the Aussie Open first-round match against Emil Ruusuvuori was bad for Monfils and uncharacteristically lacked the Frenchman’s killer instinct.

The match stretched to five sets, and on multiple occasions, Monfils had the chance to finish it off and snap his woeful run of form. Monfils was physically in good shape, but mentally he was down and that is what took the match away from him.

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Going back to February 2020, Monfils was defending his Rotterdam Open title. And he handsomely, without dropping a set again, won the Rotterdam Open by defeating Felix Auger Aliassime in the final. Then came the Dubai Championships, which again proved to be handy for Monfils.

Gael Monfils leaves court after losing his first round match against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

He raced to the semifinals without dropping a set. In the semifinals, he lost to World No.1 Novak Djokovic in three hard-fought sets. From then on, the pandemic break hit, and Monfils is yet to win a match.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1087 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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