Monfils makes more magic at French Open

HOMETOWN hero Gael Monfils is through to the second round of Roland Garros, winning in front of a passionate crowd over Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild. The 37-year-old in his 17th French Open won in four sets, 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a Round of 64 encounter with Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

A former semi-finalist on the French clay way back in 2008, Monfils won in two hours and 34 minutes, serving nine aces and winning a superior 79 per cent of his first serve points. He also showed his incredible endurance, winning 25 of 36 points that lasted longer than nine shots.

The French veteran converted six break points from 15 chances, and hit an impressive 43 winners to 32 throughout the match. He also only conceded 33 unforced errors to Seyboth Wild’s 39, and showed he still had his trademark court movement with a 63 per cent success rate at the net.

Fittingly, the first round win was Monfils’ 122nd at a Grand Slam, which is the most of any Frenchman in history, overtaking close friend Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Musetti reached the next stage of Roland Garros thanks to a straight sets win over Daniel Elahi Galan. The most watched match was fourth seed German Alexander Zverev‘s clash with retiring star Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard battled hard on his favourite surface at the tournament where has had more success than anyone in history, but it was the in-form, higher ranked German who won, 6-3 7-6 6-3.

“To be honest I don’t know what to say,” Zverev said post-match. “First of all, thank you Rafa, from all of the tennis world. It’s such a great honour. I’ve watched Rafa play all my childhood, and I was lucky enough to play Rafa when I became a pro, I was lucky enough to play him two times on this beautiful court. “Today is not my moment, it’s Rafa’s moment.” 

Nadal said while he was not “100 per cent” certain that it would be his last Roland Garros match, it was more likely than unlikely that it was.

“The amount of feelings that I had on this amazing court during all my tennis career is just unbelievable,” Nadal said. “I never dreamed I would be here at almost 38 years old, with all the success I had here, winning so many times – it is something that I never dreamt of. 

“For me it’s difficult to say what will happen in the future. It’s a big percentage that I won’t be back at Roland-Garros, but I can’t say 100 percent. I enjoy playing here, I like traveling with the family, and my body is feeling a little bit better than it did two months ago.” 


[2] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Christopher Eubanks (USA) 6-3 6-3 6-4
[4] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated Rafael Nadal (ESP) 6-3 7-6 6-3
[5] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-3
[9] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 7-6 6-4 6-1
[14] Tommy Paul (USA) defeated Pedro Cachin (ARG) 6-2 6-3 6-1
[15] Ben Shelton (USA) defeated Hugo Gaston (FRA) 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-4
[18] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Sumit Nagal (IND) 6-2 6-0 7-6
[20] Sebastian Baez (ARG) defeated Gustavo Heide (BRA) 4-6 6-3 6-1 4-6 6-3
[21] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-2 6-4 6-4
[23] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) defeated Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-3 6-3 6-4
[25] Frances Tiafoe (USA) defeated Mattia Bellucci (ITA) 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-4 6-4
Matteo Arnaldi (ITA) defeated [29] Arthur Fils (FRA) 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2
[30] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 6-3 6-3 7-5
Pavel Kotov (RUS) defeated [32] Cameron Norrie (GBR) 4-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-2
Jozef Kovalik (SVK) defeated Marcos Giron (USA) 7-6 6-4 3-6 7-6
Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-3 6-4 6-3
Alexander Shevchenko (KAZ) defeated Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-4 4-6 1-6 6-1 6-4
Henri Squire (GER) defeated Max Purcell (AUS) 6-2 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6
Gael Monfils (FRA) defeated Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA) 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-4
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-2 6-1 4-6 7-5
Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Botic Van de Zandschulp (NED) 6-1 6-1 7-5
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) defeated Roman Safiullin (RUS) 4-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 6-4
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated Luca Van Assche (FRA) 6-3 6-4 6-4
Filip Misolic (AUT) defeated Otto Virtanen (FIN) 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-2

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