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. “We’re young, we do stupid things” they joke.
Their head-to-head is 1-1 but they don’t really like play to each other. They swear that they haven’t lived through their first quarrel. “We’re quite simple people, things have stayed natural between us” says Gael Monfils. “We still tell each other the truth”, 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 they’ve 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. You’d just won the French junior champs
RG : We’d played "mini-tennis" afterwards, next to court 1. I lost but I’d just played the final so I was tired…. Otherwise you never would’ve 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 didn’t 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, I’d 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 it’s not always that good. There was a bit of a hitting competition at the start
Any competition with first serves as well ?
Richard : you can’t 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, I’m already happy with 215.
You’ve 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, voilà, that’s it
Richard : it’s nothing on the pro circuit but it’s still a very good title. It was good to win Roland Garros juniors but it doesn’t compare to my Nottingham victory, in joy and in intensity/depth.
Gael : you even said that the junior Grand Slam was phoney…
Richard : Careful/watch out, he can come out with big statements!
Gael : I just meant that I wasn’t 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 we’ll make it one day, that’s what counts.
Gael : he nearly made it, with no.12.
Richard : he’s only lacking a few points before he’s there, but Gael is going to get there very quickly
Gael: he’s right, he’s right!
Do you like to be each other’s spectators ?
Gael : ah yeah, watching Ricahrd play makes (seriously?) me laugh! He doesn’t stop making way-out points which come out of nowhere. It’s incredible, I love it
He’s the only one on earth with Federer, non ?
Gael : Ah no, you insult Richard there. He’s 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 it’s on the line at the edge of the court. When he plays well, he is amongst the best in the world and there isn’t anyone else like him. It’s a new player style… so much better for tennis, but he’s going to break himself in two one day.
Your biggest ‘blues’ moment to date ?
Gael : you have them quite often. This year, it was just before Wimbledon, I didn’t 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, it’s your disqualification from the qualifying at the US Open 2004 ?
Richard : in all its horror, you can’t 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 we’re of the same level (at which Gael laughs). Wait, you’re not going to say you’re good ? I’ve heard you!
Gael : you’ve made good progress but don’t forget that I’ve had a bit of experience. I spent 9 months with an Australian girl and 6 months with an English girl
Richard : I didn’t know you did that with them, but you mustn’t have spoke much so the English hasn’t stayed
Gael : I suggest you ask the ATP who expresses themselves better/the best and then we’ll know.
Richard : Alright, we know that we’re better than Nadal, that’s 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, I’m 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 aren’t a lot of them who are better than me. We are very nervous on the console, it’s 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 aren’t easy to say/tell
Gael : Bah, we’re young, we do stupid things
Some getting plastered for example ?
Gael : AH, never a drop of alcohol, me, even on holiday/vacation. That’s never appealed to me
Richard: I don’t drink either (Gael laughs). Maybe a little with friends after team matches. In Serignan, that’s quite something too…