“Just trying to stand up for myself”- Auger-Aliassime explains his side of on-court drama with Monfils at Laver Cup
After a bizarre on-court moment with Gael Monfils in Laver Cup, Felix Auger-Aliassime explained the reasoning behind his actions.
It was the talk of Day 1 of Laver Cup. On a day that consisted of three lopsided singles matches, the most exciting moment for many spectators was an impromptu beef that occurred between Gael Monfils and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the opening set.
So, what exactly happened and why?
I have played this tournament and I think everybody involved, not just myself, we all believed that Laver Cup is a tournament that I think has the potential to be taken very seriously, not just now but also in the future, so we’re taking this seriously.— Felix Auger-Aliassime
Auger-Aliassime – I was just sticking to the rules
According to Auger-Aliassime, he was just sticking to the rules, trying to compete at his best level, and hoping to win a match for the team. With Monfils wanting to break into exhibition mode, the Canadian was quick to ask the umpire to make sure that the Frenchman didn’t take too much time between points while he was serving.
“That was it for me. Just trying to stand up for myself,” Auger-Aliassime said. “Then, I don’t know, it escalated quite quickly for some reason. For somebody that followed my career for a while, I’m rarely in these situations. I think with any player I have good relationships with.
“It was very weird, in a way.”
“We’re taking this seriously”
Auger-Aliassime explained that he views Laver Cup as more of a serious competition, and was therefore quick to call out Monfils for a perceived delay of game.
“I think okay for me to step up for myself and be like, Look, I’m here to compete, and I’m not going to let my opponent kill the time and try to, you know, kill the rhythm on my serve,” he said.
Auger-Aliassime and Monfils had a warm handshake at the net after the match and the two were seen talking in a friendly manner after the match. It appears that the mix-up has not left the court.
But while they were on the court, Auger-Aliassime made it clear that he views Laver Cup as a serious competition, while Monfils clearly doesn’t.
“Things got a little bit, yeah, heated in the moment, a bit of tension,” Auger-Aliassime said.
“I was just kind of talking to the referees, talking to him about what rules he was applying, I guess, between the rules we’re used to in tournaments or different rules.
“Because I came in thinking I have played this tournament and I think everybody involved, not just myself, we all believed that Laver Cup is a tournament that I think has the potential to be taken very seriously, not just now but also in the future, so we’re taking this seriously.
“Things got a bit heated for a couple of games, but I’m happy that we were able to finish the match. Gael is somebody I appreciate, so there is no, I think, tension outside of what just happened in the few games there.”