Did Monfils Expose Gasquet’s Achilles Heel?
Question: Last time you spoke you said you felt Richard was a stronger player than you were and that you were most likely going to face difficulty today. What kind of mentality did you go into the match with?
Monfils, who defeated Gasquet 64 75 75, responded candidly with an admission that he played some mind games: “I tried to be very tough and very hard with him, showing him that I’m the man and I’m the leader. So I think I try also to get him in the head, to show him like I will be strong and he might hit a good shot but it’s okay. For me it’s like nothing.”
Moments later Monfils added, “And also, Richard, he doesn’t really like pressure. He love, like, good play, not play. He don’t like a lot of crowd around, the crowd involved. He don’t like (to) see the opponent like show emotions. Just play with that, play a bit with his mind, and that was it.”
Monfils, one of the most popular showmen on the ATP Tour, went on to say he loves interactions with audience and he uses that option to summon his finest play. “They helped me for sure in the second set. After I saved the set point I think I ask a bit the crowd to get involved and they did. Then it was great. That’s why, you know, I broke him straightaway because I had like positive energy. I love when it’s intense. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m stronger again. So for sure, when the crowd gets involved I play my best tennis.”
And for those fans and readers who think the crowd doesn’t make a difference at the highest level of pro tennis, put these comments in your pipe and light ‘em up.