Grass Court Season 2007 [Archive] -

Grass Court Season 2007

The Freak
06-02-2007, 07:10 PM
I see Gael is going to play in Queens again this year, along with 's-Hertogenbosch and Wimby obviously. I hope he doesn't play Hertogenbosch and gets a little rest. He got to the quarters last year at Queens, where he retired against Blake. I know grass is not Gael's favorite surface, but I think he can be successful on it this year. That serve that was amazing against Nalby yesterday, will be absolutely deadly on grass. Allez Gael!! :rocker2:

06-02-2007, 07:31 PM
If he serves like he did in RG, he will be difficult to beat on grass, and hopefully Benhabiles will help him to tweak other areas of his game. Good luck on grass Gael!

06-06-2007, 12:35 PM
Allez Gael :rocker: This grass season is yours to own :armed:

06-09-2007, 11:31 AM
C'mon Gaël! :bounce: It's a shame someone with your weapons doesn't like grass. Hopefully it will change!

The Freak
06-09-2007, 06:11 PM
Gael has drawn Igor Andreev first round at Queens, and a possible meeting with Rafa in the third round. Allez Gael!!!

06-10-2007, 05:20 AM
Gael's part of the draw:

NADAL, Rafael

DEL POTRO, Juan Martin


VERDASCO, Fernando

Allez Gael :rocker2: Good luck !!!:D

06-10-2007, 08:56 AM
He's also playing doubles with Paulo, lol, I'll be shocked if they win one match.
They're playing Bennet/Mahut in the first round.

The Freak
06-12-2007, 05:38 PM
Good start to Gael's grasscourt campaign, he mauled Andreev 6-3, 6-4, while not facing a break point and also pounding 14 aces. :yeah:

06-12-2007, 06:31 PM
I saw the match, he was serving huge and Andreev sucked in the two games he got the break. So he didn't need to show us his great volleying skills.

He was moving better than last year (last year he spent more time lying on the ground than standing, everybody was having a good laugh, but it wasn't very effective). He looked very focussed too.

The Freak
06-12-2007, 06:46 PM
I saw the match, he was serving huge and Andreev sucked in the two games he got the break. So he didn't need to show us his great volleying skills.

He was moving better than last year (last year he spent more time lying on the ground than standing, everybody was having a good laugh, but it wasn't very effective). He looked very focussed too.

Good news.

06-12-2007, 07:01 PM
Solid match :yeah:
He held to love by serving 4 aces in a row in one game in the 2nd set, never troubled on serve :worship:
He even serve and volleyed a couple of times :eek:

06-13-2007, 11:09 AM
Great match from Gael :bounce: I hope he can keep it up against The Beast :unsure: Allez Monfils !!!

06-13-2007, 03:46 PM
I thought he was injured when he lost the second set 6-2 after having a 2-0 lead!
Apparently not. :o
He just broke at 4-4 in the third, now let's hope he can stay focussed for one more game this time.

06-13-2007, 03:51 PM
Grrrr, rebreak, what is he doing?

And he loses 3 other games in a row, lol.

06-13-2007, 05:59 PM
It was a bit of a choke today...I was looking forward to a match against Nadal :(
Never mind, Mirnyi is always tough on grass. On to Nottingham now I guess.

06-13-2007, 06:38 PM
He plays 's Hertogenbosch, not Nottingham.

06-14-2007, 02:49 PM
The last time he went to The Netherlands, it didn't go well for him, let's hope it will be different now.

The Freak
06-16-2007, 03:06 PM
Gael has Ljubicic first round in Hertogenbosch, but if he can get by that, he will have a good shot at getting to the final.

06-16-2007, 07:56 PM
Allez Gael!

06-17-2007, 04:42 AM
Gael's part of the draw:



SEPPI, Andreas
PEYA, Alexander


Good luck Gael :bounce: Allez !!!!

06-18-2007, 11:32 AM
Tarik doesn't seem to be there, I hope Gael hasn't fired him yet, lol. They only show the parents sitting in the stands.

Gael wasn't looking too good in the first games, was a bit lucky Ljubo didn't bother to take his chances, but he woke up just in time, 6-3.
It's very boring, they're both just dropping big serves down.

06-18-2007, 12:15 PM
BP conversion in the second set 0:4 / Ljubo 1:1

Ljubo is doing a bit more, the match is getting better and there are more rallies, but Gael's game really is pretty messy.
In the beginning he was going for *every* shot and most of the time it was a direct error. I'd like him to play more S&V, just to improve.
Plus he's having huge concentration lapses, he just started the 3rd set with two DF in a row. :help: It doesn't look good, he needs to refocus very fast.

06-18-2007, 12:19 PM
Now he's down a break 0-2 in the 3rd set :(

06-18-2007, 12:27 PM
It's a complete mess right now. He seems to have hit his head with his racket or with the ball at the beginning of the set and spends more time complaining about headache than playing at the moment. He hits tons of DF, grimaces, etc. :rolleyes:

06-18-2007, 12:34 PM
They are showing the scene in slow motion all the time and I don't even see what he's complaining about. :shrug:
Pathetic effort in the 3rd set, he wasn't trying anymore.
But his game had already deteriorated way before the "incident".

06-18-2007, 01:20 PM
I hope everything is fine with Tarik and it's just a coincidence if they didn't show him in the stands.
It was such a poor display - a repeat of all these matches at the beginning of the year when he seemed unable to focus on what he was doing...

06-19-2007, 11:32 AM
He says in L'Équipe he was like groggy because his head hit the ground when he fell in the first game of the third set. So that's basically why he tanked the rest of the set.
It's a joke, really. The fall didn't look that bad at all (or he would have called the trainer immediately and not at 5:0, I suppose?) and it was obvious he was just focussing on it instead of trying to get over it.
He also means he was still in the match at that time and his serve was working fine, which is :bs:, he had already lost the plot before it happened - for example when he was hitting DF in a row.

He really annoys the hell out of me with that story. :rolleyes:

Here's the French version:
Monfils vous raconte : « Premier set, je sers très bien et je le breake. 6-3, c’était bien parti. Au début du deuxième set, je rate quelques occasions de prendre son service, lui y arrive une seule fois et on se retrouve à un set partout. Mais je suis toujours bien dans le match, mon service marche fort, j’en suis à quinze aces à la fin de la deuxième manche. Et puis, dans le premier jeu du troisième set, je suis pris à contre-pied, je frappe le passing, je tombe et ma tête cogne fort par terre. »
Ben, pas très grave, dans du gazon… «Hein ? Quoi? Même si c’est de l’herbe au sol, je peux vous dire que ça fait très mal. J’étais K.-O. Je ne m’en suis jamais remis. J’ai fait venir le kiné mais ça n’a servi à rien. C’est comme si j’avais pris une droite. Je ne voyais plus clair, j’avais les jambes qui tremblaient. Là je vous parle mais je suis encore dans le coltard. »

06-19-2007, 02:09 PM
The big matches are coming and there are lots of Frenchies in London. I'm hoping for better results and a better attitude in those conditions. ;)

But it would be great indeed if he gave his absolute best in all conditions. I hope he'll learn the importance of that.

The Freak
06-22-2007, 04:08 PM
Fairly nice draw for Gael at Wimby, he drew Thomas Johansson first round. Allez Gael!!!

06-23-2007, 08:28 AM
He played an exo against Marat yesterday, jayjay posted a report with some pics and videos on his board KOC:
(I hope the link works even when you're not registered)

He plays against Kiefer today.

The Freak
06-23-2007, 10:08 PM
I know a couple results concerning Gael from Boodles:

Monfils d. Safin 6-4. They played only one set because of the rain.
Monfils d. Kiefer 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a match tie-breaker.

It never hurts to get a couple wins under your belt, hopefully Gael can carry it into Wimbledon. :)

06-26-2007, 10:56 AM
Nice work Gael :worship: Good luck at Wimbledon :bounce:

06-27-2007, 07:48 AM
I watched the last 2 sets of the match against Tojo and he was cracking aces left and right, it was crazy.
In the 3rd set, Tojo was pissed and kind of tanked, so that one doesn't mean much.
But I liked how Gael won the TB, he wasn't serving so huge then and just focussed at the right time, which is not a given with him, it was nice to see.
He wasn't sliding much compared to his other matches, especially on grass (but there were barely any rallies because of his big serve). It really was a very solid display.

Vliegen might be tough though - Tojo wasn't good yesterday, it was not a big test for Gaelou.

06-27-2007, 01:49 PM
I watched the last 2 sets of the match against Tojo and he was cracking aces left and right, it was crazy.
In the 3rd set, Tojo was pissed and kind of tanked, so that one doesn't mean much.
Appreciate the update :) Thought this would be a tougher match but glad to see Monfils played well on his part, even if the Swede kinda let it go at the end. Hopefully he can maintain focus and be positive about the surface from here on...

06-27-2007, 03:46 PM
Apparently he had around 34 aces and there are some funny pics of him during this match... ;)

06-27-2007, 04:03 PM
Good luck against Vliegen, Gael.

06-28-2007, 08:27 PM
For those who didn't see the match (like me), here's a short video with a few points of the match (poor quality):

His audio interview on the FFT website ( is funny too. He doesn't say much about the match - just that he played the big points better -, it's almost all about the fact that he still doesn't like grass. "Les enfants n'aiment pas toujours les épinards, mais ils en mangent quand même" - "Kids have to eat spinach even though they don't like it." :lol:
Wimby remains his 4th least favourite Slam - because of the surface and the weather.

Davydenko now! :rocker2:

06-29-2007, 07:35 AM
Great match Gael :rocker2: Please keep up this form against Davydenko, and best of luck!! :armed:

06-29-2007, 06:09 PM
In l’Équipe today: Monfils dans sa bulle
Concentré sur son travail avec Benhabiles, le Français se livre peu. La parole est à la raquette.
PARFOIS, GAËL MONFILS a envie. Parfois, non. Quand il consent à s’épancher sincèrement devant les micros, le Français peut alors montrer un sens de la formule fichtrement réjouissant. Mais, pour l’instant, à Wimbledon, l’heure n’est pas à la confession. Bien sûr, il répond aux questions, mais du bout des lèvres. Implicite, le message se résume ainsi : la parole est à la raquette. Si l’on en juge par ses deux premiers matches à Wimbledon, elle, au moins, a beaucoup à dire. Le Championship semble également délivrer le véritable acte de naissance du « couple » que Monfils forme depuis six semaines avec son nouveau coach, Tarik Benhabiles. L’un et l’autre se félicitent conjointement de cette union : « Avec Tarik, le message passe bien, explique “la Monf”. On a une bonne communion sur le court et en dehors. On a plein de points communs. Lesquels ? Ben… par exemple, il aime le rap, le r’n’b, même s’il est un peu old school ! Il aime bien le basket. Ce soir (hier soir), on va suivre la draft NBA.Ça se passe bien. » L’essentiel de cette communication concerne avant tout le terrain. Pas évident lorsque celui-ci est recouvert de gazon : « Par ordre de préférence des quatre Grands Chelems, Wimbledon est celui que je classe en dernier, confirme Monfils. Je me sens plus à l’aise sur les autres surfaces et le temps est bien meilleur qu’ici. C’est comme quand on est jeune, quand on nous dit de manger du chou-fleur et qu’on n’aime pas. Mais, quand il faut gagner, on ne se pose pas de question, on y va. Quand j’arrive sur un tournoi, qu’il se joue sur herbe ou sur vache pétée (sic), ça n’a aucune importance. Je fais tout pour gagner. »
Service et foie gras
Confronté à un joueur qui n’a jamais caché son peu d’amour pour la surface, Benhabiles a réglé la question de la manière la plus simple qui soit : « Je lui ai dit que je m’en foutais que ça se joue ou non sur gazon, dit-il. Je lui ai dit de se concentrer sur son service et sur des schémas de jeu plus simples, plus propres. Je ne me fais pas de souci : avec plus d’expérience, plus de victoires, il finira par aimer l’herbe. Andy (Roddick, son ex-élève) était comme ça au début : pendant deux ans, il ne voulait pas entendre parler de Wimbledon. Aujourd’hui, il vient à plat ventre pour disputer le tournoi ! Ce sera pareil avec Gaël. Je suis confiant : comme il est doué, il apprend vite. » Si vite que « Ben » remarque déjà des progrès notables entre le premier tour du Queen’s et le deuxième de Wimbledon. « Il sert mieux, il retourne mieux et il a laissé tomber ses schémas de jeu trop compliqués », égrène-t-il. Quid du service, par exemple ? « Je ne vous dirai rien. Le meilleur producteur de foie gras du monde explique-t-il comment il fait ? Non ? Eh bien, moi, c’est pareil ! Je garde mes secrets. Tout ce que je peux vous dire, c’est qu’il m’a fallu trouver la clé de son geste. Tout le reste s’est décoincé dans la foulée. Je suis persuadé que Gaël peut servir encore beaucoup plus fort. Il est loin d’être à cent pour cent de son potentiel. Mais il faut du temps pour bâtir un joueur. Si on continue comme ça, on va être bien en 2008… » Juin 2007 n’est déjà pas mal.
(I don’t know how to translate the title, Monfils in the zone/in his own world?)
When he’s talkative, he has a very enjoyable sense of humour. But so far, in Wimbledon, he doesn’t want to speak much and lets the racquet do the talk.
The tournament seems to be the real beginning of a new coach-player team. Gael says they get along very well with Tarik, on court and off court. They have a lot in common. Tarik also likes the rap and r’n’b, even if he’s a bit old school. He likes the basket too, they’re going to watch the NBA together after the interview. So Gael is happy, lol.
Then the usual stuff about Wimby and the fact that he doesn’t like the grass. „But when I play a tournament, never mind if it’s on grass or on cow pat, I’ll do everything to win“.
Tarik means he told him to focus on his serve and on a few basic, simple things in his game. He’s sure that Gael will like this surface someday. Roddick hated Wimbledon during the first 2 years and now, he’s dying to play there. It will be the same story with Gael. He’s talented, he learns fast.
So fast that Tarik has already noticed some nice improvements in comparison to the first round at the Queen’s: he serves better, he returns better, he gave up a few things (game plan) which were too complicated.
Tarik doesn’t want to explain how he could improve his serve so quickly - he doesn’t want to disclose his trade secrets. He says he needed to find the key of his service and everything came „in the same breath“ then. He’s sure Gael can serve much harder. He’s far from being at 100% of his potential yet. You need time to „build“ a player. If they go on like this, they will be fine in 2008.
June 2007 already is pretty nice, the journalist concludes.

06-30-2007, 02:53 AM
Thank you Truc for the video. I haven't yet seen a second of Gael on ESPN.

06-30-2007, 01:11 PM
The good thing about Gaël's collaboration with Tarik is that Benhabilès is known to be very good at helping players ameliorate their serve. And it seems that's what he's doing with Gaël too. Thanks a lot for the article Fran! ;)

06-30-2007, 10:21 PM
Je suis allée au match de Gael contre Tomas Johansson, c'était très sympa ! public chaud et tout, le match a terminé super tard vers 21H par là...
ambiance géniale, gael ki fait plein d'aces , il a bcp de fans et est très apprécié :worship:

par contre,
Je n'ai pas pu aller longtemps au match de Gael contre kristof :sad: match de berdych et double de safarova oblige..
donc jy suis allée quelques jeux
jetais pas loin de tarik, son père et je sais plus trop ki .(dailleurs j'ai pas trop osé prendre de tofs :o )
Tarik est vachement dans le truc, c'est dingue ! il encourage bcp Gael et il en manque pas une miette !
à un moment il fait "allez mon guerrier" :lol: tout le monde autour etait ptdr
l'ambiance était vachement bonne jy serais bien restée davantage :sad:

J'ai quitté le court il menait 2 sets à 0 . Jme suis dit que ça irait :D


07-01-2007, 09:28 AM
Thanks Daniela - "Allez mon guerrier", how cute is that?! :lol:
Glad to know the Brits appreciate Gaelou. He made our German commentator laugh too the other day. I mean, he was just smacking aces, it was actually rather boring, but as Wilander said, "Monfils makes me laugh, I would even watch him brush his teeth".

The new OOP sucks, with all these matches being played at the same time, we won't see him here. :(
He's the favourite for the bookmakers, which is a bit odd to me. Davydenko doesn't like grass, but neither does Gael.

Bollettieri's prediction: Davydenko, but not easily:
"Monfils is a top-calibre athlete, and a shot-maker with a great range, huge wingspan and enormous grace :rolls:. But shot-making alone will not be good enough against this stoic Russian. Monfils has to eliminate some of his low percentage shots. By that I mean resist the risky option (a backhand down the line from four or five feet behind the baseline, for example), in favour of a more effective, but less flamboyant shot. In other words, no screwin' around on important points. Get the business done, because Davydenko will. Davydenko's pragmatism gives him the slightest of edges."

07-03-2007, 12:54 PM
There are just a few lines in L'Équipe about the match, they write the harder he was hitting the ball, the faster it came back and he'll have to think of another strategy over the night and be more clever because that kind of game doesn't work against Davydenko.
I don't see what else he can do though in the actual state of his game - he can't come more to the net and he won't outplay Davy from the baseline. :shrug:

07-03-2007, 12:57 PM
There are some pics of the match here:

He was having a problem with the hip, I don't think he was faking because I saw when he called for the trainer (by chance, since I just saw 2 games of the match) and it was at the beginning of the 2nd set, he was actually looking pretty good at that time and had just won a game to love. So I think something was really hampering him a bit.

07-03-2007, 07:51 PM
They just showed the end of his match during the rain break, he got a really great support from the crowd, it was nice to see!
L'Équipe wrote he was trying too much yesterday, today he was rather too defensive, but it wasn't as terrible as people are saying imo. He was pretty upset about a very close call against him at 4-1 40-40, he even got a warning for verbal abuse when he was broken then, but he managed to come back from 5-1 to 5-3. I don't get all the "brainless", "headcase" etc. talk after this match, he did his best, it's not a shame to be outplayed by Davydenko.

(I have the video of the end of the match, but since it's with German comments, I don't think it's very interesting for you?)

His audio interview on the FFT website:
Davydenko is a great returner, sure, but he feels like he wasn't serving very well today and he's a bit disappointed.
As for his schedule for the next weeks, he doesn't know yet, he'll take some time off because he's a bit injured and then back to clay if everything is OK.
(He has entered Gstaad and Stuttgart, but I doubt he'll play in Gstaad.)

07-04-2007, 09:51 AM
In l'Équipe:« DEUX SETS et un break de retard (6-3, 7-5, 3-0) avant l’interruption par la pluie, hier (lundi). Comment expliquez-vous ce mauvais début de match ?
– En fait, je n’avais pas joué sur gazon depuis quatre jours. À cause de la pluie, j’avais fait tous mes entraînements et mon échauffement d’avant match en indoor. Évidemment, niveau timing, c’était plutôt moyen… Davydenko a joué d’entrée très agressif. Il ne m’a pas laissé le temps de m’organiser, il m’a pris à la gorge. En plus, je ne servais pas très bien. Je manquais de précision et je servais trop souvent sur le revers de Davydenko. Ça explique une partie de mes problèmes. Mais c’était quand même meilleur au deuxième set.
– Vous menez même 4-2, mais vous cédez bêtement votre break…
– Oui, mais, un jeu avant de réussir le break, je me suis fait mal au psoas (unmuscle abdominal) en repartant sur un contre-pied. J’ai même fait venir le kiné. Ce break, c’était un peu un miracle… Ensuite, à 4-3, 15-0, j’ai fait trois doubles fautes par excès de précipitation. Je l’ai payé cash. C’est dur de revenir sur le court avec deux sets et un break de retard… C’est bête parce j’étais un autre joueur aujourd’hui (hier). Je me sentais beaucoup plus en jambes.
– Finalement, vous devez être satisfait de quitter cette herbe que vous n’aimez guère…
– Pas du tout. Ce n’est pas parce que je n’aime pas le gazon que je ne voulais pas gagner à tout prix. Ce sont deux choses différentes. Là, je pars disputer un ou deux tournoi(s) sur terre battue (dont Gstaad). Puis, j’irai aux États-Unis pour jouer sur dur. » – V. C.

He says the conditions were tough because he hadn’t played on grass during 4 days, only practiced on the indoors courts. Davydenko was very agressive from the beginning, he didn’t give him time to get his game in order. And he wasn’t serving very well, not accurate enough, he was serving too often on Davydenko’s BH. These are the main reasons according to him.
The second set was better. He broke, but it was kind of a „miracle“. Then he got injured a little bit, had to take a medical time-out and lost his break. And at 4-3 15-0, he made 3 DF because he was hurrying too much and he paid for it.
It’s tough to resume a match when you’re 2 sets and a break down. It’s too bad because he was feeling much better yesterday, much quicker.
The journalist tells him he must be happy the grass season is over now. He answers not at all, he doesn’t like grass, but he wanted to win so much. Now he’s going to play one or two clay tournaments and then he’ll play the American HC tournaments.