Originally Posted by star
Do you have a link to the interview?
My bad. I saw it on vamosrafael.com. The thread was titled "We Know We're Better Than Nadal".
19 year olds Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils are the French tennis players of the year. They talk about their ambitions and blues with freshness/coolness but also their video games and girls. ďWeíre young, we do stupid thingsĒ they joke.
Their head-to-head is 1-1 but they donít really like play to each other. They swear that they havenít lived through their first quarrel. ďWeíre quite simple people, things have stayed natural between usĒ says Gael Monfils. ďWe still tell each other the truthĒ, adds Richard Gasquet. Both born in 1986, the two pearls of French tennis are today at a career high in world rankings (17 for Gasquet and 31 for Monfils). Before teasing each other on the courts on 2 January in Doha for the start of the 2006 season, this week theyíve done it with words at Roland Garros.
When did you first meet ?
GM : The first time that I spoke to you was here at Roland Garros. Youíd just won the French junior champs
RG : Weíd played "mini-tennis" afterwards, next to court 1. I lost but Iíd just played the final so I was tiredÖ. Otherwise you never wouldíve won
GM : we were both born in 86 but only Richard was playing in the championships. He was always outclassed
RG : the first time we played each other was in the 15-17 year-old quarter-finals. I won 6-0, 6-4
Gael : I was leading 4-3 up a break in the 2nd. But I didnít hold serve at the time, my service was hopeless
When did you meet up again for your first training common session ?
Richard : it was ago at Roland Garros. I was with my dad while Gael was alone. I had hit 3 balls way out, Iíd had really flipped my lid. There were some others but not that glorious : last year, I got myself disqualified at the US Open for throwing my racquet at a linesperson. I was in a total hole and Gael was coming back from injury. It was really far from being tennis
Gael : the two of us now train with each other regularly, we are together nearly all teh time. But itís not always that good. There was a bit of a hitting competition at the start
Any competition with first serves as well ?
Richard : you canít really compete with the blacks, too much power
Gael: my record is 231/h at Bercy last year.
Richard : Yeah, it was without doubt a friendly/well-meaning radar. Me, Iím already happy with 215.
Youíve already been world junior champs (Gasquet in 2002 and Monfils in 2004). What does this title mean to you ?
Gael : it was jsut a stage, we had it, voilŗ, thatís it
Richard : itís nothing on the pro circuit but itís still a very good title. It was good to win Roland Garros juniors but it doesnít compare to my Nottingham victory, in joy and in intensity/depth.
Gael : you even said that the junior Grand Slam was phoneyÖ
Richard : Careful/watch out, he can come out with big statements!
Gael : I just meant that I wasnít disappointed at having missed it.
Which one of your two will be the first to make the top 10 ?
Richard : (a little irritated). I know that weíll make it one day, thatís what counts.
Gael : he nearly made it, with no.12.
Richard : heís only lacking a few points before heís there, but Gael is going to get there very quickly
Gael: heís right, heís right!
Do you like to be each otherís spectators ?
Gael : ah yeah, watching Ricahrd play makes (seriously?) me laugh! He doesnít stop making way-out points which come out of nowhere. Itís incredible, I love it
Heís the only one on earth with Federer, non ?
Gael : Ah no, you insult Richard there. Heís the only one, really the only one to make these dream cross-courts
Ricahrd : I have a great time with Gael because anything can happen. You wait for the slide, the first drive at full strokes, the first smack of serve, even if itís on the line at the edge of the court. When he plays well, he is amongst the best in the world and there isnít anyone else like him. Itís a new player styleÖ so much better for tennis, but heís going to break himself in two one day.
Your biggest Ďbluesí moment to date ?
Gael : you have them quite often. This year, it was just before Wimbledon, I didnít manage on grass. I no longer knew how to play tennis.
Richard : me, I was in great form at Queens. We saw each other every night and he really was in a hole.
For you Richard, itís your disqualification from the qualifying at the US Open 2004 ?
Richard : in all its horror, you canít get worse ! You throw a racquet, you turn around and you see the linesperson taking it with a look that could kill. In that moment, you pray to be somewhere else. I wanted to leave the US and hide (myself) in Paris as fast as possible.
Who is the best in English ?
Richard : Honestly, I think that weíre of the same level (at which Gael laughs). Wait, youíre not going to say youíre good ? Iíve heard you!
Gael : youíve made good progress but donít forget that Iíve had a bit of experience. I spent 9 months with an Australian girl and 6 months with an English girl
Richard : I didnít know you did that with them, but you mustnít have spoke much so the English hasnít stayed
Gael : I suggest you ask the ATP who expresses themselves better/the best and then weíll know.
Richard : Alright, we know that weíre better than Nadal, thatís the main thing
You have the same taste in girls ?
Gael : not really, no
Richard: Not at all, even!
Gael : We quickly agree on the hotties (?). But if the girl is a little average, not at all.
Richard : on that point, we play fair, there is no competition
Video games ?
Richard : with/on football, Iím greatly on top
Gael : stop, I beat you on Xbox
Richard : I never play Xbox. I bet you greatly on PS2
Gael : I hold that he has beaten Carlos Moya, respect. But he lsst again against Wawrinka, that was a little more than ugly.
Richard : Frankly, there arenít a lot of them who are better than me. We are very nervous on the console, itís a butchery/masscare. I broke many of them. Paul Henri Mathieu as well. He even cut open his forehead once, after a defeat.
Have you done a lot of stupid things together ?
Richard : some things arenít easy to say/tell
Gael : Bah, weíre young, we do stupid things
Some getting plastered for example ?
Gael : AH, never a drop of alcohol, me, even on holiday/vacation. Thatís never appealed to me
Richard: I donít drink either (Gael laughs). Maybe a little with friends after team matches. In Serignan, thatís quite something tooÖ