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Gael Monfils - March 11, 2024
2 Min Read · March 11, 2024

Monday, March 11, 2024 | Gael Monfils | Press Conference

G. MONFILS/C. Norrie

6-7, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. A great match.

GAEL MONFILS: Thank you.

Q. I'd like to ask a general question about something beautiful that you wrote recently where you said it's tempting to take the middle ground, to never take a stance. But taking a stance, coming out, having courage, gives you integrity, a sense of power. Could you talk about where that courage comes from to take stances?

GAEL MONFILS: Oh, definitely from my parents. I have been raised like that. They always, you know, teach me to believe. You know, it's more to believe what I'm doing, try to educate myself on many stuff and ask my own opinions on many stuff.

Then, yeah, if I don't know, just be honest and say I don't know. If you really feel it's right, just say it.

I guess, yeah, this come from my parents.

Q. You have had so many problems with your body the last couple of years, and even in tournaments where you would play a great match and a hard match like this where it would take a lot out of you, the challenge was coming back for the next one. Even you would say, I don't know if I'm going to be able to walk tomorrow. How are you feeling now? Is your body in a place where you can play a tough match one day and then another tough match the next day?

GAEL MONFILS: You know, the great stuff is I'm not playing tomorrow (smiling). That's good.

But I feel better and better, to be honest. I've been playing weeks after weeks, which has been a long time I am able to do that. It's tough to say yes, no, because we never know. You know, I cannot assure, but the thing is I feel good. So far, you know, the body is holding, so I'm happy with that.

Q. How did you turn that match around? It's a long day for you, because I'm sure you're going to be back tonight for Elina's match. So recovering from all of this.

GAEL MONFILS: Believe. You know, I believe that I could be better. Cam was playing a little bit different. Different variety of his game, different trajectory than usual.

Then I had to just to believe that me, too, I could change, I could do some different adjustment, maybe play some area that I don't like really and believe that I can do it. Be gutsy sometime, I guess, with the underarm serve, try to be creative, you know.

Sometime for me it's important, because if I stay too much steady, let's say, like, for a lot of people, I think I hurt myself a little bit, because I will get really defensive, and with the creativity I can allow myself to try more stuff. Yeah, to believe I can still create. And then of course you need to be a bit lucky, and I guess everything works for me today.

Q. Would you say that you have extra motivation or inspiration being that you're trying to qualify for the Olympics? Can you talk a little bit about how important it would be for you to play in Paris.

GAEL MONFILS: My first motivation is to be back where I have to be back. You know, I always say it's tough, but before I hurt myself, I was 15 in the world. I was playing so much. I was actually playing great here, beat the World No. 1, and discover the new legend, Carlos Alcaraz, played a tough match against him by playing great tennis, quarters in slams, lost in five-setters, won a tournament. Good year. Felt almost I could be back on the top 10.

Then bad stuff happen, and then I haven't played for a year, and then a year later, you know, everybody, okay, you get age, think you're done. But I still believe I can play.

Of course I set goals, and the goal is of course the Olympics. That's long-time goal. But short time is to play good, win matches, and try to get back in a good position. I made quarters in Toronto. Played a good three-setter with Jannik. You know, tried to play good in big tournaments. That's, you know, that's all the goals that I have.

Then of course if I can make to the Olympics, it would be great, be great.

Q. In 2021 perhaps Japan's greatest athlete, Naomi Osaka, lit the torch. I think you're one of France's greatest athletes in recent years. How about you lighting the torch?

GAEL MONFILS: No, I think in France we have bigger names, legend of the sport. I think I'm a good guy, good athlete from France, but I'm definitely not a legend of, you know, our beautiful country.

I think I have to win Roland Garros if one day, you know, that will be a privilege, but, you know, I think I'm really far from that.

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