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Old 05-31-2008, 04:02 PM   #196
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Awesome

I haven't seen his match in ages! Finally got to see him
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:41 PM   #197
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

I'm so happy for him, great job Gael
Next round is winnable
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:09 PM   #198
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Never been so happy to see Ljubo win a match.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:52 PM   #199
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

good day for gael

gael and dominika def. dechy/ram 6/4 6/4
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:28 PM   #200
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

really pleasure to see him play...and win!!!
go go go against lubi
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:48 PM   #201
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

didnt expect him to reach the fourth game I would say especially after watching his poor match against horna,even if he won,it was not a good match.Really boring
but well,congrats to him for reaching that stage but he better be more agressive against ljubicic who beat such a defensive player as davydenko

allez good luck gael!
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:12 AM   #202
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

The Horna match wasn't pretty, but I found the first sets against Melzer even worse!

An article today in L'Equipe with some more explanations of Barbarin (his physical trainer) about this crisis he went through during the winter. I still don't get what happened with Benhabilès because they keep hinting at the fact that they had to start from the scratch again in every regard when he came back to the Team Lagardère last year. Of course they want to make their "Team" look great too, but I'm wondering what he did exactly last year:
Quote:
Monfils dit merci
Le Français dédie sa victoire à l’équipe qui l’a aidé à passer un hiver difficile.

SEUL SUR LE COURT, mais groupé en dehors. Hier, Gaël Monfils ne jouait pas que pour sa pomme. Quand il acheva Melzer par deux sets plein pot, il y avait tout le « Team Lagardère » qui poussait derrière lui. Pas grand-chose à dire de ce match décousu. Tout d’un coup, l’Autrichien perdit complètement le fil et le Français n’eut plus qu’à surfer sur la ola du central. « Il a craqué physiquement, expliquait le vainqueur. Au début, il prenait la balle tôt et enchaînait souvent au filet. Ça lui a pompé du jus. Et moi, j’ai mis un peu de temps à m’adapter. » Et voilà comment on enchaîne trois victoires dans un Grand Chelem après cinq mois de galère.
En sept tournois, il n’avait pas pu aligner plus de deux succès. On parlait de blessures, mais, en fait, il avait la tête ailleurs. Il a fallu toute l’écoute du team. « Ce qui m’arrive aujourd’hui (hier), confiait-il hier, c’est dans la continuité du travail que j’ai pu produire avec Thierry, Rémi et le team. » Thierry Champion, l’entraîneur, et Rémi Barbarin à la fois préparateur physique et « directeur du développement tennis » chez Lagardère ont pu savourer hier, la résurrection de leur poulain. En sa qualité de préparateur physique, Barbarin n’avait pas le bon rôle. C’est de lui que venaient toutes ces idées de contrôles physiques, de prises de sang, de footings, de mesures en tout sens qui pour Gaël n’avaient pas de sens. « Au début, j’avais une mauvaise vision du “ team ”, avouait hier l’intéressé. Mais maintenant, j’ai confiance en eux. »
Barbarin : « On le voyait pleurer »
« Le problème avec Gaël, c’est qu’il avait peur de ne pas avoir un programme personnalisé, poursuit Barbarin. Puis, il a compris l’importance de la solidarité. Il avait besoin de chaleur humaine, tout simplement. Il était en butte aux problèmes de son âge, dépits amoureux, etc. et avait besoin de parler. »
Le binôme Champion-Barbarin dut laisser tomber la raquette et le prendre par la main. « Ça a été deux mois difficiles, continue Barbarin.On le voyait pleurer. Alors, on lui a fait comprendre qu’on tenait à lui. Gaël a commencé à intégrer que tout le monde était là pour l’aider. Il faisait de plus en plus le tour des bureaux pour dire bonjour. Comme ça, il carottait le début de la séance, mais l’essentiel était qu’il se sente bien. » Des séances, il y en eut des tonnes de sacrifiées à cette langueur. « Gaël n’était plus blessé, mais on ne pouvait toujours pas l’entraîner. » Car le bonhomme combinait son blues avec son caractère excessif. « Il aime le conflit, rappelle Barbarin et peut être vindicatif. Mais malgré tous ses excès, il a su se reconstruire. » Dans sa motivation et dans son physique.
Même si le préparateur physique fait aujourd’hui ce constat : « Il y a deux ans, je le préparais deux fois plus. » Et il révèle cet aspect étonnant de sa personnalité : « Gaël ne veut pas subir de test, parce qu’il a l’impression d’être noté. » Mais au bout de ses peines de coeur, de ses vagues à l’âme et de ses réticences sur le carnet de notes, il finit quand même par se remettre dans le bon sens. « L’arrivée de la saison sur terre a marqué le vrai début de son année, constate Barbarin. À Monte-Carlo, il a enchaîné ses deux premiers matches pleins (victoires sur Verdasco et Karlovic), la pompe était réamorcée. »
À Roland-Garros, le scénario lui a donné un coup de pouce. « Il faut être réaliste, Gaël a hérité d’un bon tableau (trois adversaires au-delà de la 92e place), relativise Rémi Barbarin. Mais il a su en profiter. »
La chute de Davydenko, le numéro 4 mondial, semblerait confirmer sa bonne étoile. « Il ne faut pas s’emballer, poursuit Barbarin. Il faut d’abord qu’il n’oublie pas d’où il vient. Mais c’est vrai que physiquement, il monte en puissance. » L’intéressé, lui, qui abordait hier sa qualification en huitièmes avec une joie contenue, confirme : « J’ai de la marge. » Il en faudra.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:21 AM   #203
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

It's a bit melodramatic, but I thought there are some interesting points to understand why he's playing like that atm:

He dedicated the victory to his team which helped him to get over a tough winter. People were talking about injuries, but his mind was actually elsewhere and in order to get over it, he needed all the support of his team which was watching his revival yesterday.
Barbarin had the unrewarding job to get him back in shape. All these tests and this physical work (the main focus of the Team Lagardère) didn't make sense for Gaël at first: "He was afraid not to get a customized training. But then he understood the importance of the solidarity. He needed the human touch, quite simply. He was struggling with the typical problems of his generation, unhappy love affairs, etc. He needed to talk."
So Champion & Barbarin put the racquet down and took him by the hand. "These 2 months were tough. We saw he was crying. So we showed him that we cared for him. Gaël gradually understood that everybody wanted to help him. He spent more and more time in the offices of the team to greet everybody every morning. We were wasting training time, but the most important thing was for him to feel well again." "Gaël wasn't injured anymore, but it was still impossible to train him." Because his blues was combined with an excessive personality: "He loves the conflict and can be vindictive. But he managed to rebuild himself despite all his excesses." Mentally and physically.
They still have a long way to go, though: "Two years ago, I was doing with him twice as much as today in training." Another thing makes it not easy to work with Gaël: "He doesn't want to undergo physical tests because he feels rated then."
The clay season finally launched him when he was able to string 2 full matches together in Monte-Carlo.
Barbarin about his path in Roland-Garros so far: "One has to be realistic, he had a good draw. But he managed to take advantage of it." The defeat of Davydenko looks like another good sign for him: "Don't get carried away. He needs to remember first what he is coming back from. But it's true he's looking better and better physically."
Gaël was also considering his qualification with a restrained joy, but confirmed: "I've enough left over." He will need it.

Last edited by Truc : 06-01-2008 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:25 PM   #204
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Aww a bit melodramatic indeed!!! I'm just glad that Gael was able to beat Melzer. We shall see what he has left in the tank. Interesting they went from focusing him on winning the whole thing to lessening his expectations. I actually think this is a tricky line they are playing with Gael. He's had success here (RG) in the past. It is not unreasonable to have Champion's expectations.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:13 AM   #205
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Gaël is a bit of a drama queen. Champion said the same things in the French video about him last time, he obviously had a tough patch. The video was also showing a training session not so long ago (after Rome) and he was still looking really lost out there, almost about to cry.

An interview with Champion in Le Parisien today:
Quote:
« Gaël a mûri »
LE TANDEM Monfils-Champion s’est reformé en novembre dernier après quatorze mois de séparation. Le coach parle aujourd’hui d’un joueur qui, à 21 ans, sait parfaitement ce qu’il veut. Et qui n’a pas envie de s’arrêter en huitièmes de finale contre le Croate Ljubicic (30e mondial).
- Comment expliquez-vous que Gaël marche plutôt bien ici ces trois dernières années ?
- D’une part, il aime jouer ici. Roland-Garros est un objectif majeur. Et il est heureux à Paris. Son père habite en Guadeloupe maintenant et il revient pendant le tournoi. Sa maman est là. Il y a toute sa famille, ses amis. Gaël marche beaucoup à l’affectif. Ses victoires, il a envie de les partager avec ses proches. Il se nourrit de ça. On le voit sur le court, il se tourne beaucoup vers son clan.
- Quelles différences faites-vous entre le Monfils d’aujourd’hui et celui de la première période de votre collaboration ?
- Même si ça ne se voit pas encore tout le temps sur le terrain, c’est un bien meilleur joueur techniquement. Là, il est encore défensif car il manque de repères sur ces courts de Roland-Garros. Mais son avancée vers le filet est beaucoup plus rapide. Avant, il bradait un peu les volées. Aujourd’hui, quand on fait un échauffement au filet, il est aussi concentré que dans ses frappes de fond de court. Ça veut dire qu’il a envie de progresser.
« Il n’est pas entamé physiquement »
- Que lui manque-t-il encore ?
- Des matchs durs pour prendre confiance en ses possibilités. En revanche, il retrouve une vraie concentration durant les parties. Contrairement à ce que les gens peuvent penser de Gaël, en se disant qu’il est un peu fou, c’est un garçon très lucide. Il sait ce qu’il fait sur le terrain.
- En quelque sorte, il a mûri…
- Oui, Gaël a mûri. Il sait exactement ce qu’il veut : réussir. Il ne rejoue que depuis deux mois,mais il est en train de montrer qu’il est à la hauteur de ses ambitions. Le jeu ne suit pas encore complètement, mais ça va se mettre en place.
- Que peut-il espérer contre Ljubicic ?
- Il n’est pas entamé physiquement, en tout cas moins qu’au même stade en 2006. Physiquement et mentalement, il sera là. Après, le jeu…On ne lui demande pas de bien jouer, on lui demande de gagner. Il y a deux ans, il était très heureux d’être en huitièmes. Aujourd’hui, ce n’est plus un accomplissement.

Last edited by Truc : 06-02-2008 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:34 AM   #206
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Aaaargh, the board is being a pain again, I've been trying since 15 minutes to post the (simplified) "translation":

Why is he doing rather well in RG every year?
- It's a big goal for him and he feels happy in Paris. His father comes extra from the Guadeloupe, his mother is there, his whole family. He's a very emotional guy, He wants to share his wins. He feeds on that. You can see it on the court, he always looks up to his people in the stands.
Which are the differences between the Monfils from the time of your first collaboration and the new Monfils?
- Even if it isn't showing yet on the court, he's a much better player technically. He's still playing too defensive tennis because he hasn't found his marks on these courts yet. But he's much quicker when he comes to the net. He used to sacrifice a little bit the volley. When we practice at the net now, he's as concentrated as from the baseline. It means he wants to improve.
What is he still lacking?
- Tough matches to get back the confidence in his abilities. But he's really concentrated again during the matches. People think Gaël is a bit crazy, but he's actually very lucid. He knows what he's doing on the court [I'm not sure how Champion means it - does he play like that on purpose? Is he aware of his actual level?]
So he has grown up...
- Yes, Gaël has grown up. He knows exactly what he wants: to succeed. He's been back for 2 months only, but he's already showing that he's up to his expectations. His game isn't completely up there yet, but it will settle in.
What can he expect against Ljubicic?
- He isn't worn down physically, at least not the way he was in 2006. Physically and mentally, he'll be ready. As for the tennis... We're not asking him to play well, we're asking him to win. He was so happy to be in the 3rd round two years ago. It isn't an achievement anymore.

It's true I was pleasantly surprised when he came to the net against Melzer, he wasn't looking bad at all, while he used to be quite a disaster at the net.

Last edited by Truc : 06-02-2008 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:32 AM   #207
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truc View Post
We're not asking him to play well, we're asking him to win.
About this sentence one could discuss a week.

I always considered Gael a dark horse in Roland Garros, somehow he simply seems to get some extra spirit with the Parisian air.... I hope the crowd will play its part for him. But it is Chartrier and there you never know, I felt that they could have done better for PHM yesterday, while they cheered their hearts out for Chardy on Lenglen.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:50 AM   #208
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

I understand the lack of support from the crowd with Gaël during his matches, it's hard to cheer for him the way he's been playing so far.

Another interview of Champion, in L'Equipe this time (he doesn't want to give interviews, so they all have to interview Champion and Barbarin):
Quote:
« Gaël sait ce qu’il fait »
THIERRY CHAMPION, l’entraîneur de Gaël Monfils, décode la métamorphose de son joueur, opposé aujourd’hui à Ivan Ljubicic.

Hier, à la veille de son huitième de finale, Gaël Monfils s’est entraîné une petite heure sur le court no 15, sous les yeux de son préparateur physique, Rémi Barbarin, de son père, Ruffin, de sa petite amie, la Slovaque Dominika Cibulkova, et, bien sûr, de Thierry Champion, son entraîneur. Après la séance, tandis que « la Monf’ » s’éloignait, préférant le silence pour rester concentré sur son objectif, « Champ’ » accepta de faire le point sur la première semaine de son joueur.

« VOILÀ, COMME EN 2006, Gaël Monfils est en huitièmes de finale. Mais joue-t-il bien pour autant ?
– Si on analyse profondément ses trois premiers matches ici, on va tous tomber d’accord : il peut mieux jouer que ça. Mais est-ce qu’en Grand Chelem on te demande de bien jouer ? Non, on te demande avant tout de mouiller le maillot. Et sur ce point, il est exemplaire. Je trouve qu’on n’a pas le compliment facile avec Gaël. Il a vécu une sale période avec des blessures, il revient depuis peu et il ne se plante pas à Roland-Garros.
– Pour en arriver là, il n’a pas battu des cadors (Clément, Horna et Melzer) et, tout à l’heure, il doit affronter Ivan Ljubicic qui n’est plus ce qu’il était. Secrètement, ne vous dites-vous pas que c’est son année ?
– Je n’en rajoute pas des tonnes mais je lui fais passer plein de messages positifs. “ Gaël, regarde, tu n’es pas fatigué, tu montes en régime, tes deux derniers sets étaient monstrueux…” Mais si je lui dis : “ Gaël, c’est ton Roland ! Personne ne t’attendait et là, le tournoi, il est pour toi ”, alors je fais une belle bêtise. Bien sûr, je préfère que Gaël affronte Ljubicic plutôt que Davydenko. Mais un mec qui a été numéro 3 mondial et demi-finaliste ici, s’il se remet dedans, il redevient ultradangereux. Gaël devra l’user et tout de suite.
– Justement, peut-il gagner longtemps en gardant ce style assez défensif ?
– Si vous voulez savoir si je crois que Gaël est meilleur quand il entre dans le terrain, la réponse est oui. Jusqu’ici, il s’est calqué sur le niveau de ses adversaires. Il fait souvent ça. Tout le monde le trouve trop défensif, trop loin de sa ligne mais personne ne souligne que, dans les moments critiques de ses matches, comme par hasard, il redevient conquérant. Sur les fins de set, c’est lui qui va au risque le premier. C’est le réflexe de quelqu’un qui lit bien les situations.
– La stratégie n’a jamais été la tasse de thé de Monfils. Et là, il serait devenu lucide, réfléchi…
– Oui, c’est ce que je vois. Contre Melzer, à deux sets à un contre lui, on est tous plus inquiets que lui ne l’est. Quand je le vois, après, dans le vestiaire, il me dit : “ T’as flippé, hein, dis-le que t’as bien flippé. ” Oui, Gaël, j’ai flippé, et toi ? “ Moi non, parce que j’ai vu qu’au début du quatrième set il ne me faisait plus de service-volée. J’ai compris qu’il n’avait plus le jus pour le faire. Là, il ne pouvait plus rien m’arriver. ” Je ne l’avais jamais vu, mais alors jamais, appeler un kiné dans un match quand il sentait les crampes venir. Contre Horna, tout seul, il l’a fait et il a même demandé des pastilles de sel au toubib. Avant, il ne mangeait rien, il ne buvait pas, on avait l’impression qu’il ne pensait pas. C’est fini, ça. Aujourd’hui, il sait ce qu’il fait.
« Accordez-lui du temps »
– Mais on a le sentiment qu’il gagnerait du temps et des forces à commencer ses matches comme il les finit. Le critiquez-vous parfois pour son attentisme ?
– Quand je vois ses trois premiers sets contre Melzer, je me dis que s’il entrait un peu plus dans le terrain, s’il frappait franchement, s’il swinguait son revers pour de vrai, ça ferait 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 et zéro fatigue. Mais sur le terrain, c’est quoi l’important à la fin ? C’est qu’il trouve la solution. Et il l’a toujours trouvée.
– D’accord, mais quel est le style qui lui conviendrait le mieux ?
– Quand j’ai recommencé à travailler avec lui (en décembre), on a évidemment ouvert le dossier “style de jeu”. Et Gaël m’a dit : “ Moi, je veux jouer style Blake. Dans le court et ça canarde.” Ça tombait bien parce que je pense que c’est comme ça qu’il arrivera à ses plus grandes victoires. Mais là où il s’est planté, c’est qu’il a cru que ça viendrait comme ça, facile. Il voulait frapper des coups isolés. Or, il revenait d’une longue parenthèse et il devait reconstruire sa base. Et puis Gaël ne peut pas jouer sur la ligne de fond de court parce qu’il n’a pas la même gestuelle que Blake. S’il fait ça, la balle lui saute à la gueule et c’est l’arrosage. Gaël doit reculer avec la balle et avancer avec elle, il doit la coller. Il doit le faire, il va le faire, mais accordez-lui du temps.
– Gaël dit qu’il ne sera jamais bon le jour où il ne sera pas heureux…
– C’est exactement ça. Samedi, il finit son match en cinq sets, il est en huitièmes de finale de Roland-Garros, il a une bonne trajectoire dans ce tournoi parce qu’il lui reste plein de gomme, et là, il est censé aller jouer en double mixte avec sa copine (la Slovaque Cibulkova). Je lui dis : “ Moi, je pense que c’est une connerie.” Lui me répond : “ Oui, mais moi, j’ai envie de le jouer.” On discute et je comprends que ça lui tient vachement à cœur. J’accepte. Je suis persuadé que si je dis non, je lui flingue son tournoi en simple. Parce que je l’aurais rendu malheureux. »
FRÉDÉRIC BERNÈS
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:10 AM   #209
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

He thinks people are not very laudatory with Gaël. Of course, everybody will agree to say he can play better than he's doing atm. But the most important thing in a Grand Slam is to give everything and he's perfect in that regard. He's just coming back from a very bad patch and he's still there.
Champion is trying to be very positive with Gaël, he tells him things like "you're not tired, you're improving, your last 2 sets were huge..." But of course, he can't tell him "Gaël, look, this Roland is yours, it's in the bag!" just because he will play Ljubo instead of Davydenko.
Ljubo is very dangerous and Gaël will have to wear him out, right from the beginning.
He's sure Gaël will be better today. he often models his level on that of his opponent. Everybody whines he's too defensive, but in the key moments, he's attacking again. At the end of the sets, he's the one who takes risks. It's the sign of a player who reads the situations well.
After the Melzer match, Gaël was joking with him: "You were scared at 2-1 Melzer, weren't you?" "Yes, I was, not you?" "No, because I saw at the beginning of the 4th set that he wasn't playing serve&volley anymore. I understood he didn't have enough energy left and I knew I would be fine." That's what Champion means when he says Gaël is very lucid. And it's something new with him. Or when he asked for the trainer because he started feeling cramps against Horna. He never did that before.
Of course Champion also thinks by watching Gaël he could win 6-3 6-4 6-3 against guys like Melzer without wasting energy. But the most important thing is that he's able to find a solution.
When they started working together again, Gaël told him in December he wants to play like Blake. Standing in the court and hitting winners left and right. It was perfect because Champion also means that's for him the way to win big matches. But Gaël's error was to think it would work just like that. He's coming back from a long parenthesis and needs to recover a consistency first. And Gaël has a different technique than Blake anyway and can't stand on his baseline. He needs to step back first and then move forwards together with the ball. That's how he must play, and he will do it, just give him some time.
Gaël always says he needs to be happy to play well. After the Melzer match, he was supposed to play mixed doubles. Champion told him: "I think it's an error." He answered: "Yes, but I feel like doing it." They discussed about it a little bit and Champion saw it was important for him, so he agreed. He's sure that if he had refused, it would have had repercussions on his singles tournament. Because it would make him unhappy.
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:17 PM   #210
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Champion was right, he's slightly better than in his last matches so far!
Stupid line judge who called his serve out when he was trying to serve the set out.

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