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Old 03-28-2008, 03:08 PM   #31
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

I took a look at the thread again, you're way more spot on on Tennis Warehouse than on MTF! I liked the talk about his aggressivity while MTF is praising Cañas for being much more aggressive than Gaël, lol.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:51 PM   #32
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

I saw those pics as well. My fingers will remain crossed for lamonf, I'm just happy that I will be able to see his bid against Federer. Hopefully it will be Doha quality but more towards French favor. Also not sure about how I feel about Chamion's move back to Gael...I personally thought that him and PHM were working well, color me uninformed.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:54 PM   #33
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truc View Post
I took a look at the thread again, you're way more spot on on Tennis Warehouse than on MTF! I liked the talk about his aggressivity while MTF is praising Cañas for being much more aggressive than Gaël, lol.
I really dont see canas as aggresive in the ways that Gael...Maybe that is because I associate aggressiveness with intensity.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:35 PM   #34
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Well, I took the remark out of context, the poster just meant their respective "retrieving game" and I can see his point then - but it ended up with him saying that Cañas' game is much more aggressive, which I found quite funny.
Gaël can be horribly passive at times, but he can also smack big serves and hit spectacular winners, which I have never seen Cañas do.
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:44 AM   #35
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

In L'Equipe today:
Quote:
Monfils sur la route des géants
Le Français a enfin regagné un match, contre le grand Isner, pour conquérir le droit de défier Federer.

LE « TEAM LA MONF » affichait complet jeudi soir dans les coursives désertées du central de Key Biscayne. L’ambiance très pétillante entre les membres du groupe indiquait que le début de soirée avait été bon, en attendant mieux. Sûr, les trois potes de Gaël avaient « kiffé » le spectacle, et Monfils n’avait rien raté non plus de l’exhibition de sa garde rapprochée dans les gradins. Couvant d’un regard malicieux la bande effrontée, Thierry Champion, coach garde-chiourme, savait qu’il n’y aurait pas que le débriefing technique à assumer en quittant le stade. « J’ai du boulot ce soir… » Clin d’oeil pour signaler un avis de léger danger d’« enflammage ».
Pour sa première victoire depuis septembre dernier, son poulain venait de terrasser un géant dégingandé pour retrouver un géant prétendument désarçonné. Federer après Isner. Quoi de mieux pour fêter le retour sous les spots ? Concernant Isner, le Français savourait son intelligence mentale déployée pour dérouter la carcasse aux pieds d’airain qui lui faisait face.
« J’ai vite compris qu’il fallait faire un match triste. Plus on s’enflamme contre lui, mieux il sert. J’avais vu Fabrice (Santoro) le découper en jouant comme ça. Alors tout connement, j’ai fait le mort… » Englué dans un non-rythme, l’Américain sans toucher de balle accumula ainsi 54 fautes directes et 8 doubles fautes dans un match triste, en effet. Jamais abattu malgré trois vaines balles de set dans le tie-break du premier, Monfils sauva vaguement le scénario en offrant un sidérant bilan de balles de break sauvées (11 sur 13). Mais l’essentiel n’était plus là : l’ombre de Federer planait déjà. « Oh ! là, là, souriait Monfils. On a beau me dire qu’il n’est pas au top, je l’ai vu torcher des mecs à Indian Wells. Et il perd contre Fish qui jouait l’acier… Je ne l’ai pas vu perdre contre des Bibi Fricotin ! »
« Le chemin peut être très long. Ou rapide »
Dans le New Deal qui semble animer le circuit depuis l’avènement Djokovic et les pannes du Suisse « mononucléosé », il y aurait donc toujours du respect et de l’appréhension à croiser la route du numéro 1 mondial. Monfils, comme les autres, refusant de croire à la fin du règne de l’élégant maître empêtré dans des soucis de santé. Mais la récente fréquence des échecs n’aurait-elle pas altéré sa confiance, ce si subtil ingrédient dans la panoplie d’un joueur de tennis ?
Interrogé à Miami, Federer répondait fermement par la négative. Interloqué par la dureté de certains titres dans la presse tabloïd de son pays (« Fin de carrière ? », se demandait le Sonntag Blick après l’effet Fish), le Suisse affichait sa moue de champion meurtri. « Pour être honnête, je suis plutôt surpris de lire les unes des journaux me concernant en ce moment. Parfois, la presse en fait un peu trop. Il n’y a aucune raison de paniquer. Pour moi, c’est juste une question de retrouver le chemin de la victoire. Il y a toujours un peu de doute. Mais la confiance est définitivement revenue. Je me suis senti mieux après la première victoire à Indian Wells. Le match contre Fish ? On l’analyse et après on l’oublie… »
Et Monfils, dans toutes ces tribulations ? Toujours en phase de reprise depuis ses pépins musculaires en tout genre, le Français a le malheur d’hériter d’un leader agacé qui n’a vraiment plus intérêt à faire « pschitt » s’il ne veut pas relancer encore plus vivement les débats sur sa succession. Lors d’un pic furtif de sa carrière déjà tumultueuse, Monfils avait tenu la cadence face à un Suisse au sommet de son art en finale à Doha en janvier 2006 (battu 6-3, 7-6). Depuis, au gré de grosses performances éparses, le Français use des coaches et des kinés, perdant pied pour mieux se reprendre en sidérant jusqu’à ses plus proches accompagnateurs. « Je me construis, résumait Monfils. Le chemin peut être très long. Ou rapide. En tennis, on a la chance que tout puisse se passer très vite et qu’on puisse changer de standing en quelques matches. » Depuis son retour sur les courts voilà trois semaines à Dubaï, il n’est déjà plus le poussif revenant éreinté par Berdych. S’il souffre encore de quelques pannes de concentration à l’entraînement, il est redevenu un pion crédible du circuit, craint pour son génie à ne jamais faire tout à fait les choses comme les autres.
Jeudi soir, le cri venait du coeur alors qu’il évoquait le plus beau des étalonnages face à Federer. « Eh, on sait jamais ! » À ses côtés, Thierry Champion oscillait entre raison et passion. « Attention au danger de surjouer parce que c’est Federer en face et que Gaël attend depuis tellement longtemps ces moments chauds. Mais avec lui, il y a toujours plein de surprises… » FRANCK RAMELLA
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:45 AM   #36
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

A sort of summary:
He's in Miami with the "Team La Monf" (these 3 friends he sometimes talks about in interviews, I guess) and they're apparently a bit crazy, Champion is looking like a school supervisor trying to calm them down - especially after the Isner match.
Concerning the match, Gaël says he's happy about his tactics: "I realized pretty soon I needed to play a dull match. The more fired you are when you play against him, the better he serves. I saw Fabrice (Santoro) take him apart by playing like that. So I just 'played the dead man'". Isner was caught in a match without any rhythm which was indeed quite dull/sad to watch and ended up making 54 ue and 8 df. Never looking downcast, even after having wasted 3 setpoints in the first set, Monfils kind of saved the entertainment value of the match with a spectacular ratio of 11 from 13 breakpoints saved.
Asked about the next round against Fed, he smiles: "Oh là là! People keep telling me he's not at his best, but I saw him destroy the guys in Indian Wells. And Fish was playing big... It's not like he lost to 'Bibi Fricotin'!" [an old French cartoon figure]
Fed sounded pretty annoyed in Miami about the overreactions of the media saying he's done and it's not good for Gaël because he will be eager to put an end to these discussions. When they played in Doha, Gaël resisted well, but he was at a fleeting peak of his very turbulent career. Since then, he has worn out several coaches and physical trainers, always going down and bouncing back in a way which leaves even his closest friends dumbfounded.
"I'm developing/building myself, he says. It can be a very long way. Or it can be a short one. We're lucky things happen very fast in tennis, one can change his 'standing' with a few matches only."
It's been only 3 weeks since his comeback in Dubai and he already looks very different indeed from the 'wheezy' guy shattered by Berdych. He's still having lapses of concentration in training, but has recovered his credibility on the tour where he's feared for his genius for always doing things a bit differently.
On Thursday evening, his answer sounded like a "cri du coeur" when he was asked about the Federer match: "Hey, you never know!" Next to him, Champion was oscillating between reason and passion: "He'll have to be careful not to 'overdo' it because it's Federer on the other side of the net and Gaël has been waiting for these big matches for so long now. Then again, he's always been one for surprises."

Last edited by Truc : 03-29-2008 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:58 AM   #37
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

I guess playing the night session is good news for him - not so much for a sleepyhead like me, but I'll try to make an effort:

Stadium: 8:00 PM Start
1. Men's Singles: 2nd Round
Roger Federer (SUI) [1] vs. Gael Monfils (FRA)
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:29 PM   #38
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Go and win it Gael.
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:26 PM   #39
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truc View Post
I guess playing the night session is good news for him - not so much for a sleepyhead like me, but I'll try to make an effort:

Stadium: 8:00 PM Start
1. Men's Singles: 2nd Round
Roger Federer (SUI) [1] vs. Gael Monfils (FRA)
it's late
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:11 AM   #40
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Well, Gael lost 3-6, 4-6, but I was encouraged by his play. He had a good attitude throughout and fought in the 2nd set having 7 break point chances but couldn't take them, that was really the only negative.
Best of luck on the clay Gael.
It looks like he is playing in Valencia in a couple weeks.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:57 AM   #41
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

He looked like he had all the joy de vivre back! Please excuse me if my high school French is unintelligible! I watched it and I reckon he played very well. A few lost opportunities here and there but overall good work! Allez Gael!
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:45 AM   #42
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

I fell asleep just before the match started... It doesn't sound bad indeed, articles say it was entertaining, I was a bit afraid it might turn into a "Mahutlike story", to be honest!
I've just watched the highlights so far, his BH is looking like a liability, but it's hard to say with just a dozen of points.

"I tried to play an aggressive way," Federer said. "I couldn't really chip and charge what I was trying to do, because I think he's really improved his second serve. But he gives you always a chance from the baseline if you play aggressive enough to come in. I played well on the big points. He missed his first serve twice on my break points."

Last edited by Truc : 03-30-2008 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:53 AM   #43
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Guys like Monfils and James Blake will never beat Federer. Not enough variety to their games.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:49 AM   #44
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Here's his reaction after the match, but he doesn’t say anything special:
« Avec Roger, ça peut aller très vite. Tu cogites un instant et tu te prends huit points d’affilée. Sur toutes les balles de break, il y en a sur lesquelles je ne pouvais rien faire, et deux ou trois sur lesquelles je me suis autocompliqué la tâche en tentant des passings à la Tarzan. Mais c’est bien pour moi d’enchaîner enfin les matches, de sentir les courbatures. Je suis totalement prêt. Là, je n’étais pas vraiment loin de Federer, mais pas forcément près non plus. Dans les moments importants, il fait toujours le petit truc en plus. Roger, quoi… »
Things can go very fast with Roger. You start thinking about it for a moment and you take 8 points in a row. From all the break points I had, there were some where I couldn’t do anything and there were two or three where I made life difficult for myself by trying passingshots "à la Tarzan". But it’s a good thing for me to finally string two matches together, to feel my body aching. I’m fully ready. I wasn’t very far today, but I wasn’t really close either. In the important moments, he always does the little thing which makes the difference. It’s Roger...

I watched the second set and I agree with you, he played quite well considering what he's been through in the last 6 months, he was looking like his old self. Actually, he was even more consistent than he often is (no lapses of concentration, no shocking UE from the baseline like he's prone to...)
Too bad the HC season is already over when his has just started.
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:14 PM   #45
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Default Re: Spring hardcourt season 2008

Even though he got the loss, you could obviously tell that it built a little confidence, and the second set was a very fun encounter to watch. Definitely makes me hopeful for the rest of Gael's season.
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