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delsa 10-24-2005 02:27 PM

~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
First some links where we can be sure to find some or will be shortly in the future.

Tracking Gaël Monfils

GaëlMonfils.Com Coming Soon, it says! ;)

Nathaliia 10-26-2005 02:49 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
as I promised.... Gael in Sopot... I know it's so unprofessional text but I spent only one hour on that and the good texts need much more time... but as I'm an amateur who doesn't speak English too well, this should be quite ok. Ahh and I didn't attend the press conferences but my roommate did ;)

„Stand up!” - now is the time for Gael Monfils

After having a first look at the entry list to the ATP International Series in Sopot, it would be difficult to be not impressed by seeing names like Coria, Gaudio, Puerta, Moya signed to this little claycourt event. But as the tournament started, day after day local crowd hearts were being conquered by a 18 yeared black Parisian, Gael Monfils.

Every Champion has his champion

The Monfils' march of triumph began on that beautiful sunny Tuesday on the court number one, in front of the eyes of this kind of people who were too late to get a ticket for a central court show between Coria and Kuerten. The opponent of the young Frenchmen (who's just skipped Umag and earlier collected quite a few bad losses) had to be an experienced quallificant – Juan Antonio Marin of Costa Rica. Did it sound thrilling, as you never knew, what to expect from Marin on clay? No, it sounded surprisingly tempting, remembering that the initial rival, Gaston Gaudio (seeded 2), decided to withdraw in the last moment. Of course, we'd never learn how could our hero's mental attitude to the match versus Gaudio look like, but Marin got simply demolished 6/0 6/4. The first set made the match already... set.
Strong looking Monfils was ready to face the last year's semifinalist, Juan Mónaco (Argentina). It was a great occasion to perform by the full stands on the central court. Long, incredibly quick legs helped the Frenchman to reach every strong Mónaco's shot and send even better answer. The Argentine was forced to risk a lot, and to admit honestly, he did it with grace, but what to say then about so easily looking shots back presented by the young king of an offensive defense? The final score was 6/4 7/6. It takes a reflection... was it his young age, the nationality (French people are always happily welcomed in Poland) or the too loose yellow Nike T-shirt, that helped him to gain the audience's sympathy?
Gael Monfils was scheduled to play the last quaterfinal on Friday, against Victor Hanescu (Romania). It was the late hour, when all the VIP's (and all the other „fans” who gathered in Sopot just because it's posh to be there) left the courts, when the temperature reached the cosmic level 8 degrees Centigrade, when the chair umpire Mohammed Layhani was ready to hide under the towel and say „Haaaanescu” enjoying the visible air coming out of his mouth. Finally, when the ones in the stands, who decided to stay, were ready for doing something really crazy. These were the circumstances of the pact between Monfils and the Poles. Monfils was winning, and the Poles were shouting „allez Gael” after almost every single ball. Both sides looked satisfied with the score (6/3 6/3), the Parisian was playing his best game of the tournament. What was especially sight taking, he managed to run and play back each dropshot and those were played by Hanescu with wondering eagerness. The re-breaks which the Romanian got were all the fault of his opponent's deconcentration. There was no single moment when the winner would have been doubtful. After the match, the security was forced to take Gael out of the court and secure him to the locker room, minding that everybody wanted to touch him.
Probably the most dramatic event took place on Saturday. Due to the rain problems, semifinal versus Potito Starace (defeated Moya and Acasuso) was moved to the court number one, when most of the people stayed on the central court to see how Guillermo Coria was losing to Florian Mayer. The court number one was bad covered and that's why it got wet. It was an extra point for Starace, who „lost his teeth” on different challengers in suspected places. Each dropshot was a sure winner. But only Starace used that weapon. Besides, the Italian had almost 100% of first service. The Frenchman was tired, and soon got bored as well. It looked like he didn't believe in possibility of success. His coaching team took the semifinal as an unexpectedly great achievement. Both, Thierry Champion and Remi Barbarin were sitting with faces in their hands without any optymism. However, the local crowd didn't forget about the new favourite player. With Monfils having one set lost (3/6), people organized theirselves into a big supporting team, which helped the youngster to take the lead in the second. However, it was not the last Starace's word. Especially that Monfils started suffering on cramps and tiredness. Starace re-breaked and broke once again. He had 5/4 and service. The probably most important ball of that match took place when it was 30/30 in that game. The fascinating rally had more than 20 strokes and till the end it was unpredictable to say who'd be a winner. It was really thrilling when Monfils was standing at the net on that slow court and Starace had convenient position to send a passing shot, but the Frenchman defended. What happened to the ball? It stucked on the net! And didn't move for two seconds! Just like couldn't to make up it's mind whether it's better to be a matchball or a breakpoint! Finally it landed on Starace's side. Two hundred people could breathe the air out of their lungs. Gael Monfils took that set 7/5 and 6/4 the next one. Asked on the press conference about the crowd which helped him much more that it normally happens on tournaments, he answered: „I really wasn't sure if it's not my imagination... So, wasn't it?”.
Before the final with Florian Mayer, everybody was asking such question, if the local favourite had enough physical shape. He didn't have much time to recover from Saturday, and his legs wasn't that quick, even though he overcame all the crisis with his fighting nature. The final was very similar, but on lower level. In both cases one of the factors of Monfils' triumphs was worse psychical rival's condition. Mayer, who let himself to get known as the one with impressive nerves, lost his final match twice. One time when he didn't win the setball in the first set after packing it into net, and the second time in the third set, when he let Monfils to find some extra health and power to fight till death in the last games. The player coached by Thierry Champion was this Sopot champion, who was receiving the greatest support between all the winners of the event.


Beginning of friendship between the player and the people not always looks like a fairy tale. „I must go playing now” - he said to the misguided group of fans, after the practise session on quallifying Saturday. From Sunday on, he became one of the most sociable players in Sopot, signing autographs for everyone, never turning down the ones asking for photos, having friendly chats with everyone who wanted – even if he felt unsure with his English. And, unnecessairly, he really did. At the award ceremony he started speaking French, „because in English it's so difficult”. It needed two coaches to shout to him: „Speak English”, what made Gael confused in the middle of the fuss, that's why he said in panic: „I wanted to thank my massagist”. More or less, it was the end of the speech. He was more talkative on press conferences, or to be more exact, he started to share his thoughts after the match with Starace. Before, it was difficult even to write something concret in the conference report. Monfils was talking about his family, favourite music, sports, French Federation tennis program and how he got there... finally, after he said he wanted to celebrate the success in the famous worldwide junkfood restaurant, he was informed, it has also selling points in Poland. He was surprised. The Frenchman was that kind he agreed on journalists' begging and danced the hip-hop dance on court after winning the tournament, and what's more, he gave a show of streetball in the city park. He had to do this, as he admitted he's too shy to sing any of his favourite songs (Monfils without an Ipod was a rare sight). On demands, he quoted Ludacris: „When I move you move – just like that”. This quote was recognized as an essence of the song „Stand up”, and it's really not about tennis, like the journalists thought and wrote in their articles.
Apart from streetball, Gael presented with Remi Barbarin (his fitness coach) the show of street rugby, as a practise session element before the match against Mónaco. He not only damaged few trees which had the bad luck of growing nearby, but also would have done the same to one journalist's head, if Remi Barbarin didn't catch the ball 5 centimetres before girl's head.

Nathaliia M. (Wrocław, 26th October 2005)

delsa 10-27-2005 04:16 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
:eek: :hearts: That's just a wonderful report/article Nathaliia. I like your style. We can imagine everything with how you describe it. You let some things silenced they have even much more impact.
I had read about that famous magical point at 30/30 in his semifinal in L'Equipe (i posted a bad translation of the article in his ex-thread maybe you were able to read it ;)) but i would never have imagined how it really happened/felt thank you very much for this article, Nathaliia! :worship:
Something special happened in Sopot for sure.

sol 10-27-2005 04:20 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
Great report, Nathii!! :D:clap2:

parissima 10-27-2005 05:06 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
Thank you so much for the report Nathaliia... It's great, really! :hug:
The "Socializing" part is cute. I wish i had seen him at the press conference, dancing and stuff ^^
Thanks again, for all the lil details and everything. It's almost as if i'd been there ourselves when i read it :)

I know it's so unprofessional text but I spent only one hour on that and the good texts need much more time
You are being so modest :p

*julie* 10-27-2005 10:03 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
I had missed it... :o
Thank you very much Nataliia. :D
I am happy this great report is on the 1st page of the thread. ;)

Nathaliia 10-27-2005 10:43 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
You are getting me spoiled (BTW that's the word which Flo Serra couldn't understand in Szczecin, even when I was giving him examples :lol: finally he admitted he WAS spoiled) but thank you. I hope for two things now 1) Gael will really come back to Poland one day 2) We'll get an article from Lyon soon! :wavey:

delsa 10-28-2005 09:31 AM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~

Originally Posted by Nathaliia
You are getting me spoiled (BTW that's the word which Flo Serra couldn't understand in Szczecin, even when I was giving him examples :lol: finally he admitted he WAS spoiled) but thank you.

LOL @ Serra


Originally Posted by Nathaliia
I hope for two things now 1) Gael will really come back to Poland one day

He will.


Originally Posted by Nathaliia
2) We'll get an article from Lyon soon! :wavey:

:unsure: Well, some ppl of this board like Marie-Claire's friend or Marine have attended, Princessa i think too but for the others it's only Eurosport or even for ppl like me: nothing but the scoreboard...
I still hope we'll have reports and pics too. ;)

SwissMister1 10-28-2005 05:22 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
Thanks for the report, I think you write well.

parissima 10-31-2005 10:08 AM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
In today's L'Equipe:

Gaël Monfils éprouve des difficultés à jouer son meilleur tennis dans une finale.

Défaite sans appel, vous n'avez pas semblé beaucoup vous amuser...
Ca fait la troisième fois que je me retrouve en finale. Et pour l'instant, à chaque fois, je me rends compte que je ne joue pas un très bon tennis. Je ne produis pas le jeu que j'attends. Je perds peut-être un peu confiance en moi ou je me tends. Pour l'instant, je pense que j'ai un petit blocage par rapport aux finales. Et face au n°3 mondial, ça se paye tout de suite. 6-3 6-2n c'est violent! ( :lol: )

Qu'y a-t'il de différent dans une finale?
La finale, c'est un game seven! [le septième match décisif en basket] Peut-être que je suis tellement content d'arriver en finale que j'en oublie qu'il faut que je gagne ( ça, c'est embêtant :rolleyes: ) La première fois, c'était ça [il avait pourtant gagné à Sopot...]. La deuxième fois, à Metz contre Ljubicic, j'avais joué pour ne pas perdre. Contre Roddick, je voulais vraiment gagner, mais en cherchant à trop bien faire. C'était extrême. Je ne sentais pas grand chose; je n'ai pas vu le jeu, je ne me suis pas assez bien préparé dans la tête. Résultat: je ne suis pas assez agressif, je suis vraiment mou, j'ai du mal à être moi-même. Je n'ose pas aller jusqu'au bout. Je pense que j'ai un problème, il faut que je trouve une solution.

Concrètement, qu'est-ce qui a cloché contre Roddick?
Je n'ai pas su tenir le combat physique du fond de court, tenir les diagonales et l'emmener au tie-break. Il a tout mieux géré que moi, qui étais trop crispé. Je courais moins vite, je tapais moins fort, je prenais moins de risques. J'avais même peur de faire des glissades! ( :eek: Sliderman n'est plus? :p )

Votre parcours à Lyon, après être passé complètement à côté du sujet à Madrid [non match contre Christophe rochus au premier tour] vous a-t'il surpris?

Après ma défaite à Madrid, je m'étais vraiment bien remis à l'entraînement. Même si ça devient dur mentalement en fin de saison, c'est quand même quelque chose qu'on aime. C'est peut-être dur dans la tête mais c'est un tel plaisir, en France en plus, de s'éclater dans son sport ( :D that's what it's all about...). J'étais prêt à tenir toute la semaine à Lyon, et je pense que je suis encore prêt à tenir pour Bercy. Ca peut être une très grande semaine.

Allez-vous prendre le temps de souffler?
Non, je vais jouer devant toute ma famille et mes amis, dans le tournoi qui m'a révélé l'an dernier. Dès demain [aujourd'hui], à neuf heures, je serai sur le terrain pour préparer mon premier tour.

If somebody could translate it...? :worship:

Basically he's explaining why he totally blew it yesterday. Probably because he's too nervous (or too thrilled to be in a final ^^ how cute)... He doesn't really know how to handle it yet, but he's gonna be working on that problem...
Then he says that even tho' it's mentally hard at the end of the season, it's such a pleasure for him to play tennis -especially in France- that he was ready for Lyon and he's ready for Bercy. "It could be a great week" (about Bercy...).
Theorically, he started training this morning at 9.00 am in order to be ready for the first round ^^

parissima 10-31-2005 05:16 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
Propos recueillis par PIERRE-GILLES HUOT

à Bercy Coup dur pour le Français. Souffrant d'une petite lésion au genou gauche, Gaël Monfils a été contraint de déclarer forfait pour le tournoi de Bercy qui l'avait révélé l'an passé. Gêné par la douleur depuis une quinzaine de jours et à Lyon notamment où il a disputé la finale dimanche dernier, le protégé de Thierry Champion a préféré jouer la carte de la sagesse. Contraint de prendre trois semaines de repos complet, le Parisien va désormais prendre des vacances bien méritées après une saison d'apprentissage qui l'aura mené jusqu'à la 31e place mondiale. "J'ai appris la rigueur", lance-t-il avec assurance.

Gaël, de quoi souffrez-vous exactement ?
J'avais une douleur au genou gauche. J'avais mal depuis quinze jours. Je ne voulais pas forcément faire d'IRM, parce que j'avais peur de ce qui allait se passer. J'avais de plus en plus mal. A Lyon, pendant toute la semaine, c'était douloureux. Mais je le cachais bien. Je ressentais une gêne, maintenant c'est une douleur sérieuse. J'ai une petite lésion. Aujourd'hui, quand j'ai essayé de reprendre l'entraînement, j'avais beaucoup plus mal. Avec Thierry (Champion, Ndlr) et Rémi (Barbarin, Ndlr), on a vu les images. Elles n'étaient pas très bonnes. J'ai donc préféré prendre cette décision car je ne suis pas à 100 % et ça ne sert à rien de disputer un ou deux matches.

La déception doit être énorme...
Oui, je suis vraiment déçu de ne pas pouvoir tenter ma chance. Bercy, c'est presque aussi fort que Roland-Garros. C'est l'un des premiers tournois où j'ai pu me révéler l'année dernière. C'est une épreuve qui me tient à cœur. Je venais regarder les joueurs quand j'étais plus petit. En fait, j'attendais ce tournoi depuis longtemps. On l'a préparé, on l'a peut-être même trop préparé. C'est pour cela que je ne joue pas aujourd'hui. Mais quand je dis qu'on l'a trop préparé, c'est parce qu'on ne pouvait pas prévoir que je jouerais aussi bien sur certains tournois.

Cette blessure peut-elle vous amener à développer un jeu moins spectaculaire, en faisant moins de glissades et de plongeons ?
Pas du tout ! On m'a déjà dit de faire attention l'année dernière avec ma fracture de fatigue. Ça na rien changé. Je ne change pas de style de jeu. J'ai besoin de mes glissades...

Qu'allez-vous faire maintenant ?

Je dois prendre trois semaines de repos complet. Je vais partir en vacances. Je ne sais pas trop où. Peut-être sur les îles, en Guadeloupe ou en Martinique pour me ressourcer loin de Paris. Après, je vais faire toutes les conneries que quelqu'un de dix-neuf ans peut faire ! (Rires)

Y aura-t-il des précautions particulières à prendre lorsque vous allez reprendre l'entraînement ?
Dans trois semaines, je referai une IRM pour savoir si tout est consolidé, si je suis apte à reprendre l'entraînement.

Quel bilan faites-vous de votre saison ?

Je pense avoir fait une super saison. C'était une année d'apprentissage. J'ai joué beaucoup de tournois, mais j'avais tellement envie de jouer que j'avais oublié que le circuit était aussi dur. En tout cas, j'ai appris la rigueur, le sérieux et à repousser mes limites au maximum. Je me suis entraîné plus intensivement, et j'ai accepté les contraintes. Je me suis aussi beaucoup renforcé mentalement.

parissima 12-12-2005 12:08 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
Ok, that was in today's 20 minutes.
I'll try to translate it tonight and post the translation tomorrow.

*julie* 12-13-2005 09:38 AM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
Here is an interview of Gaël and Richard Gasquet published in "le journal du dimanche". Thanks to Tchou for posting and Jean/Angelical for translating in english :worship:


Richard Gasquet et Gael Monfils, 19 ans, sont les tennismen français de l'année. Ils racontent avec fraicheur leurs ambitions et leur coups de blues, mais aussi les jeux videos et les filles. "On est jeunes, on fait des bêtises" , rigolent-ils.

Ils en sont à une victoire partout mais n'aiment pas trop jouer l'un contre l'autre. Ils jurent qu'ils n'ont pas encore vécu leur premiere embrouille. "On est des personnes assez simples, on est restés naturels entre noud", dit Gael Monfils. "On s'est toujours dit la verité", ajoute Richard Gasquet. Nées en 1986, les deux perles du tennis français sont aujourd'hui au sommet du classement mondial (17e pour Gasquet, 31e pour Monfils) . Avant de ses taquiner sur les courts des le 2 janvier à Doha, pour l'ouverture de la saison 2006, ils l'ont fait par le verbe, cette semaine à Roland garros.

De quand date votre premiere rencontre?
GM: La premiere fois que je t'ai parlé, c'est ici à Roland Garros. Tu venais de gagner les championnats de France minimes.
RG: On avait joué au mni-tennis juste apres, à coté du court numero 1. J'avais perdu, mais je venais de jouer la finale, alors j'etais fatigué...Sinon, tu n'aurais jamais gagné!
GM: On est tous les deux nés en 86, mais seul richard jouait ses championnats. Il etait toujours surclassé.
RG: la premiere fois qu'on a joué l'un contre l'autre, c'etait en quarts de finale du championnat cadets. J'avais gagné 6-0, 6-4.
Gael: Je menais 4-3 avec le break au deuxieme.Mais je n'avais pas de service à l'epoque...

A quand remonte votre premier entrainement commun?
Richard: Il y a deux and à Roland Garros. J'etais avec mon pere alors que Gael etait tout seul. J'avais balancé trois balles sur le periph, j'avais bien pété les plombs. Il y en a d'autres, pas tres glorieux: l'an dernier, je venais de me faire disqualifier à l'US open pour jet de raquette sur un juge de ligne. J'etais dans un trou total et Gael revenait de blessure. On ne jouait pas, mais alors pas du tout.
Gael: On s'entraine regulierement tous les deux maintenant, on est presque tout le temps ensemble.Mais ce n'est aps toujours tres bon. aU debit, c'etait un peu un concours de frappes.

Des concours de premier service aussi?
Richard: on ne peut pas trop rivaliser avec les blacks, trop de puissance!
Gael: Mon record, c'est 231km/h à Bercy, l'an dernier.
Richard: Ouais, c'etait sans doute un radar bon esprit...Moi je suis deja tres content d'etre chronométré à 215.

Vous avez été champion du monde junior (2002 pour gasquet, 2004 pour Monfils). Quelle valeur attribuez vous à ce titre?
Gael: C'etait juste une étape. on l'a été, voila, c'est tout.
Richard: Ca n'a rien à voir avec le circuit pro, mais c'est quand meme un tres beau titre. C'est beau de gagner Roland garros chez les juniors, mais ça n'est pas comparable avec ma victoire à Nottigham , en joie et en intensité.

Gael, vous aviez meme dit que le Grand Chelem chez les juniors, c'etait bidon...
Richard: Attention, il peut sortir de tres grosses declarations!
Gael: Je voulais juste dire que je n'etais pas deçu de l'avoir manqué.
Lequel de vous deux sera le premier dans les 10 premiers mondiaux?

Richard (un peu agaçé): Je sais qu'on le sera tous les deux un jour, voila ce qui compte.
Gael: Il l'a presque été , lui, avec sa 12e place.
Richard: Il me manque peu de points pour y rentrer, mais Gael va y etre tres vite.
Gael: Il a raison, Il a raison!

Aimez vous etre spectateur l'un de l'autre?
Gael: Ah ouais, voir jouer richard, ça me fait marrer grave! Il n'arrete pas de faire des points de martien, qui sortent de nulle part.C'est incroyable, j'adore.

C'est le seul au monde avec Federer, non?
Gael: Ah non, la vous insultez Richard. C'est le seul, vraiment le seul à faire des courts croisés de reve!
Richard: Avec Gael, je me regale car tout peut arriver. T'attends la premiere glissade, le premier coup droit en bout de course, le premier service claqué, meme si c'est sur la ligne de fond de court. Quand il joue bien , il est dans les meilleurs mondiaux, yen a pas deux comme lui. c'est un nouveau style de joueurs... Tant mieux pour le tennis, mais il va se casser en deux un jour!

Votre plus gros coup de blues jusqu'ici?
Gael: Il y en a souvent. Cette année, c'était juste avant Wimbledon. Je n'arrivais pas à jouer sur le gazon. Je ne savais plus jouer au tennis...
Richard: Moi, j'etait en pleine forme au Queen's. On se voyait tous les soirs et il était bien dans le trou.
Pour vous richard, c'est votre disqualification aux qualifs de l'US open 2004?
Richard: Dans l'horreur, tu ne peux pa faire pire! Tu jettes une raquette, tu te retournes, et tu vois le juge de ligne se la prendre en plein fouet... Sur le moment, tu pries pour etre ailleurs. J'avais envie de quitter le plus vite possible les Etats Unis et de me cacher à Paris.

Qui est le meilleur en anglais?
Richard: Honnetement, je pense qu'on est du meme niveau. (à Gael qui se marre.) Attends, tu vas pas dire que t'es bon, toi? Je t'ai ecouté...
Gael: Tu as bien progressé, mais n'oublie aps que j'ai quand meme un peu d'experience. Je suis resté 9 mois avec une Australienne et 6 avec une Anglaise.
Richard: Je ne sais pas e que t'as fait avec elles, mais t'as pas du beaucoup parler, parce que l'anglais n'est pas resté.
Gael: je propose juste qu'on demande à l'ATP qui s'exprime le mieux et là, on saura.
Richard: Bon, on sait qu'on est meilleur que Nadal, c'est le principal :

Vous avez les meme gouts feminins?
Gael: pas trop, non.
Richard: Pas du tout, meme!
Gael: Sur les bombes, on tombe vite d'accord. Mais si la fille est un peu moyenne, pas du tout.
Richard: On est bon esprit la dessus, on ne se met pas de concurrence.

Les jeux videos?
Richard: Sur le foot, je suis largement au dessus.
Gael: Arrete, je te bats sur X Box
Richard: Je ne joues jamais sur X Box. Je te bats largement sur PS2.
Gael: Je tiens à dire qu'il a battu Carlos Moya, respect. Mais il a perdu contre Wawrinka, ça c'est un peu plus laid.
Richard: Franchement, il n'y en a pas beaucoup qui sont meilleurs que moi. On est tres nerveux sur les manettes, c'est une boucherie. J'ai du en casser 1à! Paul Henri Mathieu aussi. Il s'est quand meme ouvert le front apres une defaite.

Vous avez fait beaucoup de betises ensemble?
Richard: Des trucs pas si evidents à raconter...
Gael: Bah, on est jeunes, on fait des betises/
Quelques cuites, par exemple?
Gael: AH, moi, jamais une goutte d'alcool, meme en vacances. Ca ne m'a jamais attiré.
Richard: Je ne bois pas non plus. (Gael se marre) Peut etre un peu avec les copains, apres les matchs par equipe. A Serignan, c'est bien costaud aussi.
English version


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…

parissima 12-13-2005 04:25 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~
Oh my god, that interview is hilarious ^^
They're both so cute :p

Thanks for posting it Julie ^^
*i didn't have time to translate mine, sorry :tape: *

*julie* 12-13-2005 10:21 PM

Re: ~~Articles & Interviews about/of Gaël~~

Originally Posted by parissima
Oh my god, that interview is hilarious ^^
They're both so cute :p

Thanks for posting it Julie ^^
*i didn't have time to translate mine, sorry :tape: *

Don't worry Pariss, I was able to understand almost everything, even if my french is very poor. :lol:

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