2009 starts in Doha [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

2009 starts in Doha

soulage
01-03-2009, 03:57 PM
He has a nice draw before quarter where he should face Nadal

[1] Nadal vs Santoro
Q vs Q
Hajji vs Devilder
Hernych vs [5] Monfils

[4] Roddick vs Navarro
Junqueira vs Clement
Troicki vs Hanescu
Youzhny vs [b][6] Andreev

[7] Tursunov vs Q
Stakhovsky vs Rochus, C
Petzschner vs Chardy
Montanes vs [3] Murray

[8] Kohlschreiber vs Q
Hernandez vs Vliegen
Seppi vs Gremelmayr
Starace vs [2] Federer
__________________

simplet
01-03-2009, 04:24 PM
Funny how the field is not that strong outside of the monster first few seeds.

lisaplenske
01-03-2009, 05:14 PM
good for gael to play a tournament before the AO.

Good luck to him there:)

soulage
01-03-2009, 07:44 PM
As you can see Fabrice & Gael know to find their names in the draw :lol:

http://www.qataropen.org/images/galleries/Qatar%20ExxonMobil%20Open%20-%203-Jan-2009/photos/23.JPG

Other pics http://www.qataropen.org/images/galleries/Qatar%20ExxonMobil%20Open%20-%203-Jan-2009/

Truc
01-04-2009, 01:58 PM
First match on the Center Court tomorrow, it will be live on Eurosport (4 pm local time, 2 pm for us).

lisaplenske
01-04-2009, 02:27 PM
lol

with his draw gael can play the ammunt of 3 matchs and meet nadal in that third match.
Poor fabrice who has to play nadal directly.

amdany
01-04-2009, 04:35 PM
I'll miss his match, I'll be on my way back to home at that time:mad:, cheer him loud for me guys;)

simplet
01-05-2009, 12:23 PM
Am I crazy, or is he even more buff than before? My god. His arms are scary-looking.

Truc
01-05-2009, 12:29 PM
He said before leaving for Australia that he has gained 4 kg muscles during the off season. A bit too much for my liking. It was the same with Hewitt when he was working with Rasheed, he was looking like a body builder.

4-1, he's playing OK so far, solid serving and he hit a couple of winners. It's horribly windy, but I don't think it's a problem for Gaël, he doesn't mind playing poorly.

simplet
01-05-2009, 12:42 PM
I was hoping he'd show some of that firepower that he had at the end of last year, but I guess the conditions are not ideal; plus Hernych is really making it difficult for him to find some motivation... So 6-2 it is.

Truc
01-05-2009, 12:48 PM
I think he's doing well! Not too far behind his baseline and hitting big serves, that's fine for me for a first match in very windy conditions. 6-2 in 25', 7 aces, 65% first serves.
He changed something in his serve motion, it looks weird.

The German commentator is annoying, "Monfils' game is too naïve, it's good enough against Hernych, but not against top 10 players", blablabla... He does OK against top 10 players with his "naïve" tennis, coco. It makes him a bit unpredictable.

5-1, serving for the match, Hernych is horrible.
Rebreak :silly: - the S&V attempt on MP was not necessary, Gaël.
He breaks to love with the help of Hernych, 6-2 6-2 in 55'.

VolandriFan
01-05-2009, 01:13 PM
I just flicked on to see the very end of the match. Can't say much about his game, but he seemed very composed in that last game.

I have to say he's looking nice with the extra muscle weight.

simplet
01-05-2009, 01:13 PM
Yeah I don't know. He looks in good shape and everything, and it's pretty evident from this match that he's going to keep crushing journeymen without breaking a sweat this year, but I'm not sure that's going to be enough against the best players. We'll see what he does against Nadal I guess, if he tries to go for his shots more.

VolandriFan
01-05-2009, 01:21 PM
Yeah I don't know. He looks in good shape and everything, and it's pretty evident from this match that he's going to keep crushing journeymen without breaking a sweat this year, but I'm not sure that's going to be enough against the best players. We'll see what he does against Nadal I guess, if he tries to go for his shots more.

Gael knows how to raise his game when the situation calls for it. I'm not saying that he'll beat Nadal, but I'm sure his quality of play will be much higher against him. I think the general idea is to expend as little energy as possible to dismiss the lower ranked guys (like Hernych), and save your best tennis for the big matches. We can't expect Gael to play "beautiful" tennis in every match. As long as he wins, that's all we can ask for!

simplet
01-05-2009, 01:25 PM
Gael knows how to raise his game when the situation calls for it. I'm not saying that he'll beat Nadal, but I'm sure his quality of play will be much higher against him. I think the general idea is to expend as little energy as possible to dismiss the lower ranked guys (like Hernych), and save your best tennis for the big matches. We can't expect Gael to play "beautiful" tennis in every match. As long as he wins, that's all we can ask for!

I guess. It's just that I'm not usually a fan of his game but I was really impressed with some of his matches at the end of last year, and I was hoping he'd try to play that way more consistently.

Truc
01-05-2009, 01:27 PM
The attitude and the concentration really were OK for his standards too, no unnecessary fall, no grimace, he did a good job.
14 winners, 14 UE.

amdany
01-05-2009, 01:56 PM
The attitude and the concentration really were OK for his standards too, no unnecessary fall, no grimace, he did a good job.
14 winners, 14 UE.

great start for a 1st match then, thanks for the updates Fran, looks like I was there:D

VolandriFan
01-06-2009, 01:51 AM
Devilder up next, Gael shouldn't have too many problems.

Truc
01-06-2009, 07:07 AM
The article in L'Equipe:Monfils, c’est costaud
Le Français, vainqueur expéditif du Tchèque Hernych (6-2, 6-2), a été aussi impressionnant que ses biceps. DOHA – (QAT) - de notre envoyé spécial

AVEC SA SUPERBE coupe pétard, le Gaël a décoiffé. Le vent du désert soufflait fort. En d’autres temps, le nouveau numéro 13 mondial aurait laissé s’envoler quelques jeux dans ce vent mauvais. Rien de tel hier sur le central. Dès cinq heures, le thermomètre, aidé par le zéphyr, imposait une petite laine. Pas pour Monfils, qui évoluait avec ses habituels tee-shirts sans manches. D’où la vision impressionnante de ses biscoteaux. Le garçon s’est étoffé par rapport à sa dernière sortie officielle. C’était fin octobre, au deuxième tour de Bercy, pour une sèche défaite contre Nadal. Deux semaines de travail intensif en décembre avec son coach australien Roger Rasheed sont passées par là. Le Tchèque Jan Hernych (86e à l’ATP) fit long feu face au Français affûté. Son jeu académique n’avait aucune chance de déstabiliser un Monfils solide à l’engagement (70 % de premières balles, 7 aces, 2 doubles fautes) et bien en jambes. Un petit moment d’inattention, alors qu’il servait à 5-1 pour le match, lui coûta un break anecdotique. Le numéro 3 français ne pouvait pas mieux commencer l’année, même en relativisant le test par les limites de son adversaire (qui l’avait poussé aux trois sets en 2005 à Lyon). « J’ai aimé ma constance, résumait l’intéressé. Avec le vent, les conditions étaient un peu difficiles, mais je ne suis jamais sorti de mon jeu. » Les sautes de courant, les balles dans les bâches sont à ranger au rayon « antiquités ». Il est vrai que le « boss » veille au grain, désormais. Son entraîneur a apprécié cette entrée en matière : « Rien à dire, résume Rasheed. Gaël a été dedans tout le temps. Il a fait ce que j’attendais de lui. Il a concentré son énergie dans la bonne direction. » Le duo semble branché sur la même longueur d’onde. Si les muscles du joueur sont de plus en plus spectaculaires, que dire du coffre du coach ? Le sweat-shirt ne peut cacher une charpente impressionnante. Rasheed se régale à l’idée de ce qu’il va pouvoir faire avec le joyau dont il a hérité depuis quelques mois.
Pas rouler sa mécanique
« Gaël est un athlète naturel. On n’a encore rien vu. Rendez-vous dans un an. » Mais le body-building n’a rien à voir avec le tennis. Monfils le sait bien. Il ne veut pas rouler sa mécanique. « C’est vrai que j’ai beaucoup bossé ces quinze derniers jours avec Roger (à prononcer “Rodgeur”, comme Federer). L’idée, ce n’est pas seulement de prendre de la puissance, mais surtout d’empêcher les blessures. On voit surtout mes bras, mais les cuisses, c’est pas mal non plus. »
Il y a un an, il soignait une blessure au genou qui allait lui coûter deux mois d’absence. Le revoilà ainsi sur la terre de ses exploits de 2006 quand il avait poussé Federer au tie-break du deuxième set en finale. Pour réussir à se hisser à nouveau en finale, il est condamné à un exploit dès les quarts. La logique voudrait que Nadal soit à ce moment-là sur sa route. Même si Santoro espère sortir un nouvel exploit de sa boîte à malice aujourd’hui face au Majorquin. Avant ce choc éventuel, Monfils devra s’imposer demain dans un duel franco-français. Nicolas Devilder a été un facile vainqueur du régional de l’étape, le Qatarien Abdulla Hajji, qui n’est même pas classé à l’ATP. Sans faire fi de la menace que représente le joueur dacquois (no 72 à l’ATP), qu’il n’a jamais rencontré sur le circuit ATP, Monfils espère très fort des retrouvailles avec Nadal. « Difficile de trouver un test plus intéressant », salive-t-il d’avance. Il a envie d’éprouver sa nouvelle cylindrée face à la Rolls du circuit. Une victoire le rembourserait d’emblée de l’investissement fait pendant les fêtes de fin d’année.
« Comment ça, s’amuser un peu pour les fêtes ? » Il s’étonne de l’incongruité de la question avec ses grands yeux scintillants. Enfin, oui, le 25 décembre, j’ai été invité à déjeuner chez Roger. À part ça, ça a été boulot, boulot. »
Pas de cotillons pour la Monf’, qu’on se le dise !
PASCAL COVILLEHe was "as impressive as his muscles are".
It was very windy and the old Monfils would probably have blown a few games. It was cold too, but it didn't prevent him from wearing his usual sleeveless shirts, so everybody could appreciate his impressive pair of biceps after 2 weeks of work-out with Rasheed.
Gaël says he liked his consistency, the conditions were not easy with the wind, but he never got off his game. No sudden changes in his game anymore, no shots landing outside the court. "The boss" (Rasheed) was pleased too: "Gaël did what I expected him to do. He channelled his energy in the right direction." Rasheed (whose muscles also are quite impressive) is drooling over Gaël being a natural athlete, as usual, and says people haven't seen anything yet. But tennis and body-building are two different things and Gaël knows it. He explains the main idea is to prevent the injuries. The changes are very obvious on his arms, but his legs are not bad either, he says. He has really worked hard in December and "his big, sparkling eyes" look even surprised when he's asked how he celebrated Christmas and New Year's Eve - he says he was just invited to lunch at Roger's place on the 25th of December, the rest was work, work and work.

Truc
01-06-2009, 08:26 AM
I'm not too fond of the muscles obsession, but as the journalist points out, they seem to be on the same wavelength with Rasheed, it's probably the kind of things which appeal to Gaël too.
I just hope it really helps to prevent injuries, carrying extra-weight on the court doesn't sound very easy on the body to me?

Monfils, Roddick stay hot on cold Doha night - By N.D. Prashant
(...) Both Monfils and Hernych had last played against each other in 2005 at the Lyon Open and the result, then too, had favoured the former. Back then, Hernych had showed more grit forcing the match into a three-setter.
However, last evening Monfils was in no mood to give any leeway to his unseeded opponent. The Frenchman, who had arrived almost a week before the event began, stormed into a 3-1 lead after breaking Hernych in the fourth game.
A series of unforced errors made matters worse for the Czech, whose best performance last year was a quarter-final spot in the Stuttgart Open. Monfils then broke Hernych in the eighth to seal the set in his favour.
The second set too saw a similar pattern of play with Hernych offering least resistance to Monfils’ charge who raced to a 5-1 lead. On a forgettable evening for him, Hernych salvaged some pride by breaking Monfils’ serve in the seventh game but the latter quickly broke back in the ninth to seal the set and the match at 6-2.
“It was easy but I would credit it to the training that I had put in ahead of this tournament. I did everything perfect today. If I win one more match, I will be meeting Nadal and that’s what I’m looking forward to,” said the Frenchman, whose best effort last year was to reach the semis of the Roland Garros where he lost to Roger Federer.
Despite the comprehensive win, Monfils chose to keep his plans for the season under wraps by saying, “Yes, I have set certain goals for myself for sure but I would like to keep it to myself as of now. The focus is on getting things right in every match I play.”
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=264961&version=1&template_id=49&parent_id=29

Truc
01-08-2009, 07:07 AM
In l'Equipe today:Les travaux d’Hercule
Gaël Monfils affronte aujourd’hui Rafael Nadal. Pas du gâteau. En trois rencontres, il n’a pas fait plus de trois jeux par set. DOHA – (QAT) de notre envoyé spécial

IL LE VOULAIT, le voilà ! Monfils va donc se coltiner l’ogre dès le troisième match de sa saison. Il a dû se battre pour obtenir son rendez-vous contre le numéro 1 mondial. L’étonnant Nicolas Devilder (no 72 à l’ATP) lui rendit coup pour coup avant de s’incliner 7-5, 7-6 après 2 h 8’. Gaucher lui-même, le Dacquois fut plus qu’un apéritif pour le plat de résistance d’aujourd’hui. Il eut même une balle de deuxième set. C’est donc à l’Everest que s’attaque joyeusement Monfils. Il devra être bien plus performant qu’hier pour un éventuel exploit et mettre un terme à une série de trois défaites sans appel (voir par ailleurs). « Ça n’a pas été du très grand tennis de la part de Gaël, mais son adversaire, sans pression, a très bien joué le coup, résumait son entraîneur Roger Rasheed. Il a dû se battre jusqu’au bout. L’attitude a été bonne. » L’issue aurait été plus rapide s’il avait eu un meilleur taux de conversion de ses balles de break (2/9). Car Devilder, au gabarit réduit (1,73 m), pèche au service. « J’aurais dû faire mieux sur certaines de ces balles, reconnaissait l’intéressé. Je l’ai un peu laissé jouer ou bien j’ai tenté des trucs venus de nulle part. Mais, dans l’ensemble, je ne suis pas mécontent de ce match. J’ai plutôt bien servi et j’ai eu de bonnes séquences en revers. Voilà, ç’a été un bon test. J’ai deux matches dans les jambes, je suis prêt. » Vraiment ? Retour à la mythologie. Dans les fameux douze travaux d’Hercule, on en a sélectionné trois. D’abord « battre à la course la biche de Cérynie ». Nadal n’a rien d’une biche, mais il galope le bougre. Pourtant, hier, Monfils était prêt à le défier sur ce plan : « Un de mes atouts, c’est la couverture de terrain. » Passons au deuxième exercice : « Dompter le taureau crétois de Minos. » « J’ai mon coup droit », rappelle Gaël au rayon de ses armes favorites. Ça tombe bien, Nadal aussi. On a gardé le meilleur pour la fin : « Descendre aux enfers et enchaîner Cerbère le chien monstrueux aux trois têtes. »
Monfils : « Ne pas le regarder jouer »
Comme les trois claques qu’il a prises contre « Rafa ». « Minute, corrige Monfils. Les scores sont un peu sévères. À Bercy, j’ai eu un paquet de balles de break (neuf, toutes manquées). Si j’avais mieux négocié les points importants, ça aurait été une autre affaire. » « En plus, il avait mal servi, ajoute Rasheed. Gaël doit absolument grappiller des points gratuits au service contre un joueur du calibre de Nadal. » « Gaël a un service très gênant, explique Devilder. Son slice fait mal contre un gaucher. En plus, il peut toucher toutes les zones en masquant bien. » Le service sera la clé de l’exploit, si tant est qu’il y en ait une face à un Nadal déjà à fond. Hier, il a corrigé Karol Beck comme il avait expédié Santoro la veille. « Nadal est très impressionnant, admet Rasheed, mais Gaël a beaucoup progressé. Il n’y a pas de plan de jeu, sinon quelques détails. L’idée pour Gaël est de jouer son jeu, d’être entreprenant. » Et de ne pas céder un pouce de terrain. « Je dois tenir ma ligne, analyse l’intéressé, sinon je peux en prendre une grosse. Et surtout ne pas le regarder jouer. » L’Espagnol a, comme Federer, cette capacité à hypnotiser ses adversaires. Nicolas Devilder est raisonnablement optimiste : « Demain (aujourd’hui), Gaël sera dans ma situation : sans pression. Il pourra tout lâcher. Il a une petite chance. » Comme d’habitude, Nadal prend l’adversaire au sérieux. « Ce n’est pas parce que je l’ai battu trois fois sur trois que je vais le mésestimer. Je sais ce qu’il peut faire, notamment au service. » Le numéro 1 mondial ne baissera pas sa garde.
PASCAL COVILLE He had to fight hard during more than 2 hours. Devilder, a leftie like Nadal, was more than an appetizer. Gaël will need to be way better today if he wants to put an end to his bad series against Rafa (he has never won more than 3 games in a set in 3 matches). Rasheed says it wasn't great tennis from Gaël, but the opponent had no pressure and tried his luck really well too, Gaël had to fight until the very last point and his attitude was good.
It could have been a quicker win if he had converted his break points better since Nico's serve isn't very good. Gaël admits he could have done better on BP, he let Nico play his game then or tried crazy things. But he isn't unhappy about his match, all in all, he served pretty well, he was striking the ball well on the BH wing, it was a good test, he feels ready.
The journalist suggests he isn't exactly ready to play Nadal. But Gaël means the scorelines were a bit harsh in his last matches against Rafa, he had 9 BP in Bercy, he wasted all of them, but it would have been different if he had been able to play better on these points. Rasheed points out Gaël's serve also was below par in Bercy, he definitely needs to win a lot of free points on his serve against Nadal. Devilder says Gaël's serve is not easy to handle, his slice is very annoying for lefties and it's not easy to read. So the serve will be the key today.
Rasheed admits Nadal was very impressive again against Beck, but Gaël has improved a lot in his opinion. There won't be any special gameplan, he just needs to play his game and to be aggressive. Gaël says he needs to stay close to his baseline or he will get a real beatdown, and the most important thing will be to not watch Rafa play because Rafa has the ability to "hypnotize" his opponents. Nico means Gaël will be in the same situation as he was yesterday, nothing to lose, he has a small chance.

I saw Rafa's first two matches, he plays like he's on a mission and wants to win the whole thing without losing more than 2 games per set, he's scary, really.
2nd match of the day today, matches start at 4 pm.

lisaplenske
01-08-2009, 03:18 PM
outstanding gael there,so impressed by his match today!

he made so high quality improvements,especially his backhand, he can attack with it now.Everything was perfect.His serve too.

Chapeau bas Monsieur:hatoff::yeah::yeah:

Bobble
01-08-2009, 03:36 PM
:worship::worship::worship::worship::worship:

That cross-court backhand was just poetic today.

Truc
01-08-2009, 03:47 PM
I for myself have a soft spot for the volleying.
But the serve and the FH were looking great too!

It felt unreal. I should have more faith in you, Gaëlou.
(Well, I had faith in Bercy, but since it turned quite badly there, I was scared for today.)

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4186/nadal1zq5.jpg

lisaplenske
01-08-2009, 04:04 PM
The difference with bercy is that gael kept a vey positive attitude for all the match.Jumping,running,fist pumped

he was totally in control of the match,nadal was annoyed and didnt find the solution against that monfils.

Congrats to him,he seemed so happy after the win:D

now take out roddick:armed:

Tutu
01-08-2009, 04:51 PM
ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! :woohoo::banana::banana:

MacArthur
01-08-2009, 05:14 PM
He did it :worship:

He converted :cool:

He had all he needed to have to win against a big one and he converted beautifully. I am gutted not to have the faith to follow his match, but ultimately you are there, Gael. And it's well deserved :worship: .

I just can't wait to see what this magnificent 2009 year of tennis has in store for us, fan of the frenchies. :D

The Freak
01-08-2009, 09:22 PM
Unreal! :woohoo:

Truc
01-08-2009, 09:51 PM
Glorious Gael blows Rafa away
By N.D. Prashant
GAEL Monfils of France produced the biggest upset of the new season when he knocked out World No 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain 6-4, 6-4 in a thrilling quarterfinal match at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open yesterday.

A Nadal versus Monfils match was always going to be a humdinger. If Nadal is known for his amazing fitness and energy levels, Monfils is the ultimate entertainer. Monfils’ spiked hair, his elastic limbs and his tremendous athleticism all add up to a produce a unique personality that enriches the game and enthralls its fans.
This was the fourth battle between Nadal and Monfils and the former had emerged victorious in all the previous three. Nadal had won 6-3, 6-2 on the clay courts of Rome in 2005, 6-2, 6-2 on the Monte-Carlo in 2006 and most recently last year at the Master Series in Paris 6-3, 6-2.
However, interestingly, on all the three occasions what had let Monfils down was his inability to convert his break points. He is also often criticised for his erratic form on court but last night Monfils was at his supreme best.
Matching his much-superior rival in every stroke, the Frenchman never looked like losing at any stage. His booming serves at speeds over 170kmph were no less lethal that Nadal’s very own.
Handling the long rallies well, Monfils broke Nadal in the fourth game with a brilliant forehand down the line return, on the second break point, to go 3-1 up in the first set.
However, in the fit of excitement he failed to hold on to his serve in the fifth, following poor finishing.
The match then went on serves but all through, it was the top seed Nadal who was doing the catching up. With Monfils holding his serve in the ninth at 5-4, the pressure was back on Nadal to hold his serve to stay in the set.
And as we say, even the best can wilt when it matters most and Nadal faltered. The top spin returns, on which the Spaniard relies most, let him down. Monfils, then made sure not to miss out on the two set points he got and celebrated pumping his chest and screaming to fire up the crowd.
With the champion trailing by a set, the stage was set for an absorbing contest in the second. Monfils held serve authoritatively at love for an early lead. The onus was once again on the Nadal and with Monfils coming hard, the former had to sweat it out to hold his own.
After going on serves until the third game, Nadal just managed to keep serve in the fourth, escaping two break points. The match then went on serves and again Nadal had to shoulder the pressure of hanging on to his serve in the 10th to save the match.
However, once again the Beijing Olympics gold medalist lacked the nerve. He not only failed to keep the ball in play but also double-faulted to allow Monfils to go in for the kill. With the kind of form the Frenchman was in yesterday, he was too good to miss out on the opportunity. It was curtains for Nadal as he hit wide at 15-40.
“He (Monfils) played better than me. Losing is ok as he was serving well and not making mistakes. I had my chances in the first set but I did not take them. I made a mistake in the second and he took it,” said visibly dejected Nadal.
“I have not yet got my rhythm. I think I need a little more time to get it. But I’m happy with the way I’m playing.”
An elated Monfils credited his success to his concentration on court. “I think I was very focused today. I had an almost perfect start to the match and I played well on most points. I didn’t allow him to settle down. I think he was a little tired (in the second set). I kept my serves and I am very happy about that.”
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=265541&version=1&template_id=49&parent_id=29

Truc
01-08-2009, 09:57 PM
He leads 3-1 in his h2h against A-Rod and won the last 3 encounters, but Andy was playing well today, he looked better than in Madrid imo (and the 2 other wins were on clay):
http://www.atpworldtour.com/3/en/players/headtohead/default.asp?playernum1=R485&playernum2=MC65

1st match of the day tomorrow at 4 pm local time.

VolandriFan
01-09-2009, 12:36 AM
I can't believe I missed the match. Hopefully someone will upload it soon, it's so exciting! I don't think anyone expected this.

:woohoo:

Turquoise
01-09-2009, 05:56 AM
Bravo Monfils for a superb performance against Nadal! :yeah: He and his coach had a clear game plan, and he executed it to perfection. Those sharp-angled cross-court backhands/inside out forehands work to great effect against Nadal. Expect greater things to come from this talented youngster this year.

BTW: My dad is an avid Monfils fan so he's over the top at this result. :lol:

Truc
01-09-2009, 07:27 AM
It's on t3nnis.tv, Paolo.

He's on the cover of L'Equipe! :p
Here's his post-match interview:
« Le tournoi continue »
GAEL MONFILS, très réservé après son exploit, voulait souligner que le boulot n’était pas fini.

« EST-CE LA PLUS BELLE victoire de votre carrière ?
– J’ai plutôt envie de dire que c’est une très belle victoire. Un peu du genre de celle contre Ferrer qui m’avait permis d’aller en demi-finales du dernier Roland-Garros.
– Quand même, c’est super costaud, ce que vous avez fait…
– Oui, mais le tournoi continue.
– On vous a découvert aujourd’hui un revers du feu de dieu…
– C’est vrai que c’est un coup qui a bien progressé. Grâce au travail physique. Avant, j’étais un poil trop faible du haut du corps pour bien relancer de ce côté-là. Maintenant j’ai les abdos pour en remettre une couche. Ça m’a bien servi contre Nadal. Il avait beau pilonner mon revers, ça revenait fort.
– Et puis le service a bien fonctionné cette fois…
– J’ai eu un petit coup de mou au milieu du premier set, mais dans l’ensemble, c’est vrai que j’ai été solide dans ce secteur. L’idée était de le surprendre sur le slice déportant, mais après l’avoir un peu appâté sur le “ T ”, car il peut être efficace même sur le slice si on est trop prévisible.
– En puissance de fond de court vous avez au moins fait jeu égal, ce qui est quand même une belle surprise…
– Je n’avais pas le choix. Il ne fallait surtout pas le laisser respirer. J’avais dit la veille qu’il était interdit de le regarder jouer. Je devais coûte que coûte tenir ma ligne et lui mettre une pression permanente.
« Je suis dans ma trajectoire »
– En général, c’est plutôt lui qui impressionne par son défi physique, non ?
– Oui, mais moi je suis plutôt conquérant dans la tête, donc je ne suis pas vraiment impressionnable. La difficulté, contre Nadal, c’est de garder cet esprit conquérant chaque seconde. Et ça, c’est vrai que ça pèse. D’ailleurs, au moment où je parle, si je ressens bien sûr de la fatigue physique, c’est plutôt la tension nerveuse qui prédomine.
– Elle vient d’où, cette formidable performance ?
– Il n’y a pas de mystère. C’est le fruit du boulot fait ces dernières semaines. Ça vient bien sûr de tout ce que j’ai fait avec Roger (Rasheed), mais ça part de plus loin, de ce que j’ai aussi effectué avec le “ Team ” (Lagardère).
– Avec ce succès extraordinaire, peut-on dire que Gaël Monfils a définitivement changé ?
– Mais non, je suis toujours le même. Je poursuis mon chemin, voilà tout. Je mets en place les pièces, mais je suis dans ma trajectoire.
– N’y-a-t-il pas un risque de décompression après un tel exploit ?
– C’est bien pour ça que je ne peux pas en faire trop. Je le sais bien que j’ai un gros match à jouer contre Roddick.
– Il va falloir être fort en retour de service…
– Je dirais plutôt qu’il faudra impérativement que je tienne mon engagement. Ça va être un match de serveurs. Je suis prêt… » – P. Co. Just a simplified translation, the journalist first says he was quite reserved after the match:
- Is it the biggest win of your career?
I'd call it a very big win. Like the one against Ferrer in Roland-Garros which brought me into the semi-final.
- But what you did was really strong....
Yes, but the tournament isn't over.
- We didn't know you can strike the ball so well on the BH side...
This shot has improved indeed. Thanks to all the physical work. My upper body wasn't strong enough in the past. Now I have the required abdominals. It helped a lot against Nadal. He kept playing on my BH, but the ball was coming back.
- And the serve was working well this time...
Apart from a weaker period in the middle of the first set, I've been solid on my serve indeed. The idea was to surprise him with slice, but I needed to lure him a little bit on the "T" first because his return is effective on sliced serves if they're too predictable.
- It was evenly matched from the baseline, which is a nice surprise...
I had no choice. I couldn't afford to let him breathe and watch him play. I had to stay on my baseline whatever happened and put him under pressure all the time.
- He usually impresses the opponent by his physical intensity...
Yes, but I'm a warrior and not so easy to impress. The difficulty against Nadal is to keep that frame of mind all the time. And it's demanding, it's true. Right now, I'm feeling tired, but it's mainly nervous tiredness.
- Where is that awesome performance coming from?
No secret, from the work done in the past few weeks. All the work done with Roger too and with the Lagardère team also.
- Can we say Gaël Monfils has definitely changed?
No no, I'm still the same guy, following my way, putting the pieces together.
- Won't it be difficult to back up such a great achievement tomorrow?
That's why I can't go overboard about it. I know I'll have to play a big match against Roddick.
- You'll have to return well...
I'd say I'll have to hold my serve first. It will be a match of big servers. I'm ready.

Truc
01-09-2009, 07:29 AM
And the main article:Vamos Monfils !
C’est en prenant Nadal à son propre jeu de surpuissance que le Français a renversé le numéro 1 mondial (6-4, 6-4).

Incroyable inversion de tendance : incapable de marquer plus de trois jeux par set lors de ses trois premières rencontres avec Rafael Nadal, Gaël Monfils s’est imposé cette fois en deux manches. Grâce à une prise de risques maximale, au service, en coup droit, et – surprise – en revers. Après cet exploit, il ne peut s’arrêter là, même si Andy Roddick aujourd’hui en demi-finales ne sera pas un mince obstacle. DOHA – (QAT) de notre envoyé spécial

LE VENT DU DÉSERT s’était calmé, mais à 17 heures une tornade s’abattit sur Doha. Du nom de Monfils et avec comme objectif de renverser le numéro 1 mondial, Rafael Nadal. Pas moins. Sacré toupet tout de même de la part de quelqu’un qui avait pris trois fessées de suite de la part du bouillant Espagnol. À 4-3 pour lui, on était déjà prêt à lui accorder une oreille quelle qu’eût été la suite. Après tout, ni Santoro au premier tour ni le Slovaque Beck au suivant n’avaient été proches d’une telle cueillette. Nadal avait épaté tout le monde lors de ces deux numéros de bulldozer. Monfils avait une autre idée de la question. Il avait d’ailleurs ouvert le premier les hostilités, ravissant le service adverse à 2-1, sur un coup droit gagnant. Le scénario de Bercy, où il avait vendangé trop de balles de break, n’allait pas se reproduire. La réponse de Nadal ne se fit pas attendre. Il récupéra aussitôt son break sur un coup droit d’attaque adverse trop long. Mais le Français maintenait ses intentions : s’il devait perdre à nouveau, il le ferait cette fois les armes à la main. Le ton était donné. Dans un stade copieusement garni de spectateurs francophones, le public était partagé. C’était déjà une sorte de succès vu la réputation de Nadal. Dans un coin, Roger Rasheed, l’entraîneur de Monfils, tête carrée sur des épaules qui le sont encore plus, n’avait plus qu’à savourer la suite. Son poulain rentrait dans la balle et dans le court. Ses frappes à plat étaient encore plus spectaculaires que le gros lift du quadruple vainqueur de Roland-Garros. Bien sûr Monfils devait en payer le prix avec un peu de déchet en coup droit. Mais – ô divine surprise ! – pas en revers. Du coup, le fameux avantage de gaucher disparaissait. La diagonale « mixte » n’était plus à l’avantage de Nadal. Mais à 4-4, 0-30 sur service Monfils, on se dit que la logique du classement (12 rangs d’écart) allait finir par s’imposer. « J’ai eu mes chances dans ce match », devait confier Nadal, beau perdant mais manifestement affecté par cette correction inattendue. Car, à la stupéfaction générale, l’Espagnol ne fut jamais en mesure de rouler des mécaniques. Presque tous les longs échanges devaient s’achever à son désavantage. Un comble quand on connaît sa capacité à saper la défense adverse par des coups de bélier répétés. Mais Monfils est devenu lui aussi une « bête » des courts grâce au travail forcené entrepris avec Rasheed à l’intersaison. Hier, Monfils a pu d’autant mieux jouer les gros bras dans l’échange qu’il se savait à l’abri sur son engagement. Après le faux pas du débreak, il n’allait plus concéder plus de 2 points sur son service. Nadal n’avait plus de marge. « Non seulement ses services slicés, mais aussi ses services à plat m’ont gêné », avouait-il.
Rasheed : « Une sacrée performance mentale »
À 5-4, le scénario s’emballa : une accélération de coup droit du Français poussa Nadal à la faute et le score à 15-40. Monfils fit faute en revers sur la première balle de set, mais sur la suivante l’Espagnol fut battu au filet. Bingo ! À 18 h 30, l’appel du muezzin se fit entendre. Nadal n’avait plus qu’à faire sa prière. Souvent sous pression sur son engagement dans cette deuxième manche, l’Espagnol craqua, comme au premier set, au pire moment, à 5-4. Un jeu pourri qui en dit long sur l’incroyable travail de sape réussi par son challenger : une amortie de frustration ratée, une faute directe de coup droit, puis, après une faute adverse, l’invraisemblable enchaînement de deux autres fautes directes de coup droit. « Je n’ai pas joué mon meilleur tennis, devait résumer le vaincu. Lui a joué avec beaucoup d’agressivité. Chapeau. Rien à dire. » « Franchement, Gaël m’a épaté », commentait pour sa part un Fabrice Santoro pourtant bien placé pour savoir les dégâts que peut réaliser Nadal. Roger Rasheed aussi savourait l’exploit de son protégé : « Quel plaisir de le voir faire contre le meilleur joueur du monde tout ce qu’il avait travaillé à l’entraînement. C’est d’abord une sacrée performance mentale. C’est un moment important dans sa carrière, mais il va devoir l’oublier très vite car il y a un risque de décompression. Le match de demain (aujourd’hui) contre Roddick va permettre à Gaël d’en apprendre un peu plus sur lui. » Le Français vient déjà de faire un pas de géant dans ce sens. Qui précise les contours des ambitions qu’il tient soigneusement secrètes depuis le début de l’année. Monfils vise le sommet dès cette saison. C’est le message qu’il vient de faire passer.
PASCAL COVILLE I don't have time for a summary now, sorry. It stresses a lot the improvements on the BH side, essential against a leftie. Rafa says Gaël's serve was difficult to return, the big sliced serves, but also when he was hitting flat serves. Santoro was stunned by Gaël. Rasheed means it was a great mental performance chiefly and the next match against Roddick will be the occasion for Gaël to learn more about himself.

Andy looked quite pissed in Madrid after their match, I think he will be really pumped up today and doesn't want to lose 4 times in a row to Gaël Monfils!

Truc
01-09-2009, 09:07 AM
In Le Parisien:
« C’EST un sentiment génial. » Pour la première fois de sa carrière,Gaël Monfils a pris le dessus sur l’Espagnol Rafael Nadal, numéro un mondial, en deux manches (6-4, 6-4), hier en quart de finale de l’Open de Doha (Qatar). Le Parisien (13e mondial) avait été battu sèchement lors de leurs trois précédentes rencontres. « Je ne l’ai pas laissé respirer quand il était fatigué et j’ai été un peu chanceux, raconte le Français, 22 ans. J’ai toujours cru en moi pour garder l’avantage. Je savais que si je jouais mon jeu, je pouvais réaliser de belles choses contre lui. »
"It’s a great feeling. I didn’t let him breathe when he started to be tired and I was a bit lucky too. I always believed in myself to keep the upper hand. I knew that if I was playing my game, I was able to do nice things against him."

lisaplenske
01-09-2009, 02:41 PM
disappointing loss from gael after that great win over nadal yesterday.:sad:

He served for the first set and seemed tense at this moment,losing a little bit his intensity.
He should have won but well he showed manay good things in that tournament.He seemed tired in the 3rd set so I think he probably spent much of nerve energie from yesterday.

Well congrats to him for his tournament.He wont play sydney right?

simplet
01-09-2009, 03:59 PM
I think he was tired too. He should have never lost the first set, but other than that it was a good match, hopefully he'll get some good experience from the tournament.

I think he has an exho somewhere next week? Let's hope he rests and prepares well fo AO.

Truc
01-09-2009, 04:19 PM
Yes, he will play an exho in Adelaide now together with Leconte.

I honestly didn't find it disappointing. He looked genuinely tired to me in the 3rd set, no surprise, yesterday's experience must have been quite draining, I can understand the let down in the 3rd set. And he was so close to winning the two first sets, he actually handled the situation better than I was fearing he would.
The rebreak in the 1st set was stupid, but it's usual stuff with Gaël, I don't expect him to change over night. That's really something they need to sort out, though, he's terrible at serving out a set or a match, it was the same against Nico D. And against Fish at the USO and and and.
But he's improving, clearly, so I can't be disappointed. The attitude, the game... I think he would have pulled a much bigger show because of his painful back and his tiredness a few months ago, he's really improved a lot in that regard with Rasheed (after the little clash after the Vienna final imo), I'm so thankful for that.

And Andy was very consistent too! There's no shame in losing to him, he gave like 4 points per set only (13 UE in the whole match). His approach shots were quite average, as usual, Gaël missed too many passing-shots and lobs, but not by much most of the time.
Andy badly wanted to win today after 3 defeats in a row, while Gaël was quite understandably a little bit off after yesterday's match. Nothing shocking.

2moretogo
01-09-2009, 05:10 PM
I agree with lisa, simplet, and truc, Gael looked tired in the third. But it is all a growing experience for Gael. I still think, baring injury, Gael could do some interesting things at AO. Anyhoo, Andy was surprisingly consistent, but I felt that Gael wasn't aggressive enough (i know right?) at the end of the 1st set and the entire 3rd set (but that could have been fatigue).

Truc
01-10-2009, 12:46 PM
In L'Equipe today:Monfils a coincé
Le Français avait laissé de la gomme, la veille, contre Nadal. Un solide Roddick en a profité pour s’imposer dans un match indécis (7-6, 3-6, 6-3). DOHA – (QAT) de notre envoyé spécial

IL S’AGIT SANS DOUTE d’un problème de digestion. Celle de son exploit de jeudi face au numéro 1 mondial. Gaël Monfils savait que l’enchaînement Nadal-Roddick serait difficile. Mentalement et physiquement. « Il n’a pas été aussi pointu que la veille sur ces deux plans, analysait son entraîneur Roger Rasheed. Quand je l’ai vu servir pour le premier set à 5-4, je pensais pourtant qu’il allait gagner en deux sets. Mais Gaël a fait quelques mauvais choix qui ont changé la physionomie de la partie. » Deux fautes directes de coup droit et une double faute bien malvenue remirent à flot Andy Roddick. Contraste saisissant avec les quatre jeux de service précédents du Français, où il n’avait concédé que deux points au total. « Je me suis mis un peu trop de pression, raconte le coupable. J’avais mal au dos. Je me suis dit que ça serait bien de gagner cette manche. »À trop vouloir, il perdit ce jeu clé puis passa à travers le tiebreak, émaillé d’une double faute et perdu 7-1. Pour quelqu’un qui avait des tiraillements dans les reins, la suite s’annonçait douloureuse. Il fit venir le kiné et repartit au combat. Il attaqua cette deuxième manche par une première balle à 145 km/h ! Pas évident de déstabiliser un numéro 8 mondial avec de pareilles pichenettes. Heureusement ses services lents valent beaucoup mieux que ne l’indique cette vitesse anémique. Et même privé de sa puissance maximale au service, il resta à flot à l’engagement grâce à une jolie palette de variations. « Il n’y a pas qu’au service que son jeu est varié », constatait Roddick. Ce fut la deuxième découverte de la semaine, après sa capacité à défier Nadal en puissance. À 1-1 dans la deuxième manche, il tenta trois amorties dont deux furent gagnantes et, pour conclure ce jeu, servit un ace à 162 km/h. La parfaite illustration de sa capacité à jouer aussi en finesse. Alors les nombreux spectateurs français reprirent confiance. Monfils breaka blanc l’Américain et tint ensuite son engagement pour empocher ce deuxième set. À une manche partout, on ne pouvait s’empêcher de penser à sa victoire de Madrid, acquise à l’automne dernier sur l’Américain en trois manches.
Dur de « trimbaler la masse »
Mais Roddick s’est refait une santé à l’intersaison et c’est lui qui finit le plus fort. « C’est le meilleur Roddick que j’aie vu depuis un bout de temps », estimait Rasheed. « J’avais décidé de l’attirer au filet en faisant du chip, mais il a souvent bien contré ce chip », raconte Monfils. En effet, à 2-1 il se fit breaker sur un lob trop long. Mais, facétieux, sur le jeu suivant il reprit ce break sur… un lob gagnant. La foule appréciait ce duel varié et indécis. Mais Monfils était sur le fil du rasoir. Une faute directe en revers, une amortie mal choisie et son service s’envolait à nouveau. « J’ai manqué de fraîcheur, poursuit le Français. Je n’avais plus les bons appuis pour tirer mes revers long de ligne. » Le joueur le plus frais s’imposa logiquement. Déception pour Monfils, finaliste il y a trois ans et qui voyait s’arrêter son parcours alors qu’il avait fait sauter le plus gros obstacle du tableau. « Bien sûr, je suis déçu, concluait-il. Il me faudra encore un peu de temps pour arriver à trimbaler sans problème la masse musculaire que j’ai engrangée ces derniers temps. Je fais quand même 86 kilos et demi. Je vais encore travailler pour être sûr que, la prochaine fois, je pourrai enchaîner physiquement deux gros matches. Mais je repars de Doha avec de bons repères. » Et un formidable souvenir contre le numéro 1 mondial. Un bonheur qu’il n’aurait jamais dû connaître puisqu’il avait décidé initialement de s’inscrire au Tournoi de Brisbane, engagement invalidé à cause d’un retard d’inscription. Sacré clin d’oeil du destin. Au programme maintenant la chauffe de l’Open d’Australie dans un tournoi exhibition à Adélaïde. Et il en a à exhiber, la « Monf’ ».
PASCAL COVILLE

Truc
01-10-2009, 01:17 PM
He knew it was going to be tough after the Nadal match. Physically and mentally. And Rasheed says he was indeed less sharp in both regards. When Gaël served at 5-4 in the first set, Rasheed thought he was going to win in 2 sets; but he made some poor choices then and the match turned. Two direct FH errors, a DF and Roddick was back. Too bad since Gaël had lost only 2 points in his 4 other service games. "I put myself too much under pressure. My back was hurting. I thought it would be a good thing to win that set." That's how he completely messed up his service game and the following TB.
He called for the physio in the change over and started the 2nd set with a first serve at... 145 km/h. Not easy to beat the world number 8 with such "flicks" on serve. Luckily he was able to vary a lot and even if he couldn't hit his serves as hard as he wanted to, he was holding comfortably. Roddick: "The serve is not the only shot he can vary well." It was the second revelation of the week indeed, after having showed he was able to challenge Nadal in power matters. At 1-1 in the 2nd set, for example, he played 3 dropshots and closed out the game with an ace at 162 km/h, showing he's also able to play with touch. He broke Andy to love and held for the rest of the set.
In Madrid he had beaten Roddick in 3 sets. But Roddick has recovered his form during the off-season and he was the one who had the upper hand in the 3rd set. Rasheed: "It was the best Roddick I've seen in a while". Gaël explains he wanted to lure Andy to the net with chip, but Andy had the right answer. The beginning of the 3rd set was varied and undecided, with a break and rebreak from Gaël with a lob, the crowd was enjoying it, but Gaël was playing on the razor's edge and lost his serve again with some bad UE. He says he wasn't fresh enough anymore, and it showed especially in his stances when he wanted to deliver his BH down the line.
"Of course I'm disappointed. I'll need some more time to be able to carry around the muscle mass I've gained lately. I weigh 86 kg 1/2 now. I'll have to work more to be sure I can string together two big matches next time. But I'm leaving Doha with a good feeling." And with fantastic memories of his match against the world number 1 (whom he wasn't even supposed to face at all at the beginning since he wanted to play Brisbane and only played in Doha because of a mistake of his agent).
He will now play an exhibition tournament in Adelaide as a preparation for the AO. "La Monf'" sure has quite a lot to exhibit.

lisaplenske
01-10-2009, 01:33 PM
Merci Fran:)

good for him to play this exhibition in adelaide.

Truc
01-12-2009, 08:27 AM
The exhibition looks ultra-lame, lisa. The other current players are Pim Pim, Dent and Philippoussis. And with Leconte & Co, it will certainly be more "hit & giggle" tennis.
I see Direct8 is supposed to show it next week-end in France, they have a livestream: http://direct8.directmedia.fr/live (but the coverage is not live.)

Truc
01-12-2009, 10:47 AM
The website of the event: http://www.worldtennischallenge.com/index.html, maybe Rasheed will keep "blogging"

lisaplenske
01-13-2009, 02:35 PM
When I said it can be good for gael,I was meaning that playing a "cool" and "relax" exhibition such as Adelaide one is good for him cause no pressure at all and he could perhaps arrive in the AO "changed" you know.
No pressure on his shoulders at all,he'll be very relax with himself.
I think rasheed is very smart to make gael participate to this exo whereas all the other guys are "competing" in sydney or even Kooyong.

Thanks for the infos Fran:)

Truc
01-14-2009, 12:23 PM
Rasheed is director of the event, that's why he's playing there.
But I agree it's OK for him to play an exhibition instead of a normal tournament since he often has trouble in playing a few weeks in a row.

He's doing a great job so far: :worship:
Gael Monfils lost to Joachim Johansson 6-7(5) 4-6
Henri Leconte lost to Mats Wilander 4-6 6-4 (10-12)
Leconte / Monfils lost to Wilander / Johansson 2-6
Sweden won 3-0
Next: USA with Dent and Courier.

It's really "hit and giggle", as expected:
"The fans lapped up the humour and cheered their idols with France's Henri Leconte and Gael Monfils the hands-down favourites. Monfils even called on Leconte during his singles match against Sweden's Joachim Johansson, with the player-of-old doing most of the 22-year-old's bidding against "questionable" line calls. (...)"
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,24914991-5016711,00.html

Truc
01-15-2009, 11:10 AM
:eek: What the heck, Fabrice is playing instead of Gaël in Adelaide, I hope he is just sick and not injured???

Taylor Dent def Fabrice Santora (replaced Monfils) 6-3 6-4

Truc
01-15-2009, 11:24 AM
A bit :topic:, but there also is some fuss about Rasheed in the Aussie media:

Roger Rasheed and John Tomic in war of words
Tomic has questioned the credentials of Rasheed, the former coach of Lleyton Hewitt who is now steering Frenchman Gael Monfils' career.
"Roger Rasheed is not a coach. He's a fitness conditioner," Tomic Snr said.
"He took Lleyton Hewitt from No. 2 in the world to No. 60 and I think that Gael Monfils should be very careful because he could find himself struggling too pretty soon."
Etc. etc.
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24913941-3162,00.html

real_995
01-15-2009, 04:16 PM
any news about monfils injury

Truc
01-15-2009, 04:17 PM
I get loads of boring articles about the Rasheed-Tomic story and nothing about the reason why he was replaced by Santoro today. :( Has anybody heard anything?

Edit: I hadn't seen your post, real, sorry. I have no idea, he hasn't given any update on the "blog" either since last time.

Truc
01-16-2009, 05:17 AM
Leconte gives some news in L'Equipe:
PETITE ALERTE CHEZ MONFILS. – Engagé aux côtés d’Henri Leconte dans une exhibition à Adelaïde, Gaël Monfils a préféré se retirer après avoir disputé son premier match. « Il a un petit peu mal aux pieds, indiquait Leconte, mais rien de grave. Il a juste préféré jouer la prudence. »Du coup, Leconte poursuit l’exhibition avec Fabrice Santoro. « L’épreuve, c’est un jeune avec un vieux. Là, ça devient un plus très jeune avec un très vieux ! », ironisait l’ex-vengeur masqué.
He feels a little pain in the feet (foot according to the blog, which makes more sense too), but nothing serious. It's precautionary according to Leconte who jokes about the fact that it was supposed to be an event with a young player and a former, older player. But now with Santoro-Leconte it's more a not very young player teaming up with a really old one.