Struggling Monfils pulls the plug on 2020 season
- 27 Oct 2020
A season that started with high hopes has ended under the weight of injuries and a crushing pandemic that served to dampen the spirits of Gael Monfils. The Frenchman took to his personal Twitch channel on Tuesday to say that it was time for him to cut his losses. Monfils, who talked of reaching the top 5 at this year’s ATP Cup and appeared to be well on his way to reaching that goal after he won back-to-back titles at Montpellier and Rotterdam, struggled to regain his form after tennis restarted this summer.
After four consecutive losses and mounting injury concerns, he has made the decision to stop and start his preparations for 2021.
“I will not be at Bercy and I am also putting an end to my 2020 season,” Monfils said, adding that the pandemic has served to take the joy of tennis from him. “It’s very hard for me to have fun, I don’t have good sensations, I feel it’s hard. There is a lot of sadness in me.”
Monfils finishes 2020 with a 16-7 record and a currrent ranking of 11 in the world. At the moment he’s a far cry from the athlete that commenced the 2020 season by winning 16 of his first 18 matches. It could have been 17 of 19 – Monfils had three match points against world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals at Dubai in February. As it turns out, the loss would mark the beginning of a downward spiral for Monfils. The losing streak now stands at five consecutive losses, all of them combining to cast a long shadow over his impressive start to 2020.
Somebody does beat Gael Monfils 17 times in a row but juuuuuust barely. Djokovic saves three match points in the second set in the Dubai semifinals to win 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-1
Heartbreaker for one of tennis's serial heartbreakers pic.twitter.com/OAVr2HZCy4
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) February 28, 2020
Confinement switched off his confidence
A five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus did the Frenchman no favors. Monfils says that he was not able to flick the switch and return to his stellar form when the season resumed this summer.
“The confinement turned me off, I came back without having a lot of confidence, I think it hurt me a lot,” he said. “I failed to adapt, to make the right choices on my return.”
The former ATP No 6 says it’s important for him to stop the slide and get back to enjoying life.
“The most important thing is to cut the spiral, I have no problem with that,” he said, adding: “I want to tackle 2021 completely. I’m going to cut tennis for a while, but still play sports, and live my life as a young man for a few weeks, not worrying about tennis. I still have good years ahead of me, I think I can play until I’m 40.”
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