Monfils: “I’ve been doing this for 20 years, do I want to continue? I don’t know, we’ll see.”

Gaël Monfils put on the show once again in Toronto and delighted the crowds. But the Frenchman does not know how much longer he wants to continue on the pro tour

Gael Monfils at the 2023 National Bank Open Gael Monfils at the 2023 National Bank Open Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

On Monday night, Gael Monfils turned back the clock to produce one of his classic performances. This time it was the Toronto public who had the chance to witness it, and Chris Eubanks who had the misfortune to be his victim. The American, who created a sensation at Wimbledon, was indeed at the receiving end of a vintage ‘La Monf’ performance, which the 36-year-old Frenchman won 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-1. But, listening to the Monfils in his press conference, it appeared that the opportunities to see him play on the circuit may not be too many in the future.

Like most close Monfils matches, there was more its share of adrenaline: a break for Monfils to serve for the match at 5-3 in the second set that went up in smoke, two match points at 6-5 that also flew by and a deciding set as a bonus.

“A the end, the easiest one is when I won and I shake his hand. Even now, after 20 years, I can choke in a way. It means so much for me to win one match. And it was actually fun to see that, even after everything, it’s tough to close this match,” the Frenchman said.

Understandably overjoyed after the victory, Monfils was just as happy to see that the progress shown in recent weeks continues. Especially during an American tour where people have been waiting for years to see him.

“I’m getting better week to week”

“It’s always great to play in Canada. A lot of fun always here playing Grandstand or the Center Court. I remember I play Vasek in the Grandstand, as well, and it’s always, you know, close always to the fans,” Monfils said.

“It’s always tough because I have some off moments, long off moment, and try to get back the rhythm with those guys, young guys. But I feel better physically. And, obviously, everybody can see, it’s been week after week, better and better in the States. So I was happy to see myself quite fast on the court after two hours’ match. A little bit wiser. I still need to improve a lot, but I feel like I can battle with those guys. So I think I still got it a little bit.”

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years. It’s okay…”

Still there, yes, but for how much longer? Monfils doesn’t know, but listening to him, it could be for a shorter period of time than tennis fans would like.

“It was good (spending time at home) It’s the next chapter. It’s tomorrow, I feel. I feel like my team, my wife, everybody want me to keep playing. But to be honest, when I spend time, at home with my daughter, this is it. To be honest, this is it. It’s been 20 years I’m doing that, so this is it for me.”

“As I said last year, it was a little bit different. I was 15 in the world. I didn’t have to compete that much in a way just to keep my ranking. Now if I want to get back, I need to play weeks after weeks. Do I want to do that? I’m not sure. I’m not sure, but I will see. And then, you know, time will tell.”

Monfils will next challenge Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No 4 player in the world, in the second round: a new opportunity to put on a show and prove that he still has enough to do some damage on the circuit for as long as he wants.

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