“I will always be hard to beat”: Monfils on a roll after turning over Tsitsipas

Gaël Monfils, who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in Canada, is relishing this return to form – and hoping it lasts a little longer

Gael Monfils Cincinnati 2023 ICON SMI/Panoramic

Gaël Monfils gets caught up in the game. He’s already beaten Christopher Eubanks, but his win on Wednesday was a much bigger one – defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world No 4 and recently champion in Los Cabos. It’s clear that he isn’t just on tour to make up the numbers or to begin a farewell tour: his game has regained all its bite at the best time.

“I played a solid match, and I’m very happy with the quality of my footwork because it’s always the key for me,” said Monfils at a press conference. “I also liked my speed of serve and the fact of being able to return regularly. Then I just tried to take control of the point so as not to leave it to Stefanos. I hit the backhand well too, I stayed calm and in the end I’m happy with this solid performance.”

The Frenchman, who is currently 276th in the world but who uses his protected ranking, hopes that he will be able to stay a few more weeks on this cloud. And we know everything a healthy and confident Monfils can do on this surface.

“I’m almost back to 100%, I feel great, I have a lot of hours of training behind me and now games too, so I would say I will always be hard to beat. I’m glad I got through all these last few weeks with just a few aches. But I really want to keep pushing my body and my head this week and next because, I’m not going to lie, it’s hard for me to go through every week. So far so good but I really hope I can last another two weeks. For the moment, thinking about next year is too far away.”

Monfils: Doubles with Elina? Why not?

As Monfils keeps talking about his approaching retirement, it isn’t surprising that observers have been making some last-minute requests. A journalist asked the Frenchman if he was thinking of playing mixed doubles with his wife Elina Svitolina at least once before hanging up the racquets.

“Why not?” came the reply.

“Playing singles and doubles is difficult for me, but I tell myself that when I’m close to the end, I will try to do both. And then let’s hope it won’t be for another year!” concluded Monfils with a smile. The victories, of course, make him want to keep going.

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