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Old 04-21-2008, 11:21 PM   #31
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

That's Gael's best win in awhile.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:20 AM   #32
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Interview in l'Equipe today - Champion says he's been sick for 10 days!
Quote:
«Tout va mieux! »
GAËL MONFILS savourait sa victoire acquise en deux sets face à Verdasco.
Revenu en février à Dubaï après six mois sans jouer, Gaël Monfils a obtenu hier sa victoire la plus probante, contre l’Espagnol Verdasco (27e ATP). Sans être transcendant, juste régulier du fond et opérationnel au service (une seule balle de break à défendre), le Français a profité des largesses du fantasque gaucher. « Mais on ne va pas faire la fine bouche, se réjouissait son entraîneur, Thierry Champion. À Valence, la semaine dernière, Gaël souffrait encore de baisses physiques. Depuis une dizaine de jours, la faute à un petit virus, il vomit beaucoup. Dimanche encore, il n’avait aucun jus. Alors c’est bien de le voir concentré comme ça tout un match et relâché en revers. Et à 5-4 au deuxième set, il a bien enterré le match sur son service ! » Quelques minutes après un dernier smash de voltigeur, look à la Ludacris – son rappeur favori –, le joueur se confiait sur son bonheur du jour.
« VOILÀ UNE VICTOIRE qui a de quoi vous réjouir…
– Je suis même plus content que ça car c’est ma première victoire à Monte- Carlo ! Et le match n’était pas trop mal. J’étais arrivé tôt ici car je pensais jouer les qualifs. J’avais donc quelques automatismes et je joue sans avoir de pépins, alors ça va.
– On vous sent stressé par ces éventuels problèmes physiques…
– Ben oui, j’avais été blessé ici l’an dernier. Et je suis resté six mois sans jouer cet hiver. Là, je vois que j’enchaîne matches et entraînements sans douleur. Le changement de surface ne m’a rien fait. Ça fait plaisir.
– Pour revenir au match contre Verdasco…
– J’ai joué de manière correcte. J’avais un bon rythme au service. Avant mes blessures, je servais bien, c’est bien de revenir comme ça.Dans le jeu, je n’ai pas fait énormément de miracles, mais j’ai été bon dans le changement de rythme et ça a fait la différence. J’étais très loin de ma ligne, mais ça a suffi. Je suis venu un peu au filet. Je sais que je peux le faire plus mais, aujourd’hui, j’avais quelque chose en tête et je m’y suis tenu. Depuis ma reprise, c’est la première fois que je suis resté concentré de bout en bout. Ça m’a vachement aidé.
– Vous commencez à sortir du tunnel. Comment avez-vous vécu ces six mois passés sans jouer ?
– Pas très bien. J’ai eu quelques problèmes personnels en plus. J’ai mal vécu ce moment. Maintenant, je retrouve la joie et l’envie. Tout va mieux !
– Vous ressentez de la pression vis-à-vis de l’attente placée en vous ?
– Pas du tout ! Parce qu’on m’a laissé bien tranquille… On m’a enterré, c’est même marrant. Mais j’ai vingt et un ans et encore dix ans devant moi. Jo (Tsonga) est arrivé. Richard (Gasquet) a beaucoup de problèmes en ce moment.C’est bien de ne pas être dans les polémiques. C’est génial…
– Qu’avez-vous pensé de ces histoires en Coupe Davis ?
– Richard, je suis à fond derrière lui. Jo lui a manqué. Je lui ai peut-être manqué aussi, si j’avais pu être sélectionné. Ils m’attendent. À moi de me bouger le cul pour être opérationnel l’an prochain en Coupe Davis.
– Voir débarquer quelqu’un comme Tsonga, c’est encore plus motivant pour vous ?
– Non, parce que ce n’est pas comme ça que je fonctionne. Si je commençais à me lever à 7 heures du matin pour faire un footing parce que Jo est en finale, ce ne serait pas bien. Ma motivation, elle part de moi. »
Translation in progress...
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:44 AM   #33
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

It's a simplified translation, as usual:

Best result since his comeback. He didn't do anything amazing, was just solid from the baseline, efficient on serve (faced one BP only) and took advantage of the many errors of the Spaniard. "But I'm not going to turn my nose up at this win, Champion says. In Valencia last week, Gaël was still struggling physically. He's been vomitting a lot for ten days because of a virus. On Sunday, he was still lacking in energy. So it's good to see him focused like that during a whole match and relaxed on his backhand. And at 5-4 in the 2nd set, he served it out very well!"

In his new Ludacris look (his favourite rapper), Monfils was telling his joy a few minutes after the last smash:

- You must be happy...
- Even more than that, it's my first win in Monte-Carlo! And the match wasn't too bad. I arrived in MC early because I thought I would have to qualify. So I had a few automatic reflexes already and I'm playing without any injury, it's nice.
- You seem stressed by the possibility of getting injured again...
- Well, yes. I got injured here last year. And I was out for 6 months this winter. Right now, I'm stringing matches and practice sessions together without feeling any pain. Changing the surface hasn't been an issue either. I'm happy about that.
- Back to the Verdasco match...
- I played a decent match. I had a good rhythm on serve. I was serving well before I got injured, so it's nice to come back like that. I didn't do anything miraculous in the rallies, but I was varying the pace well and it made the difference. I was staying very far from my baseline, but it was enough to win. I came to the net a few times. I know I could do it more, but today, I had another strategy in mind and I stuck to it. It's the first time since Dubai I keep my focus from the first point to the last one. It helped a lot.
- You're beginning to see the end of the tunnel. How did you feel during these 6 months when you were injured?
- Not very well. I also had some personal issues. It was a tough time. I'm recovering the happiness and the desire now. I'm feeling better!
- Are you feeling under pressure because of the expectations towards you?
- Not at all! People left me in peace... They had already forgotten about me (literally: they had already buried me), it was funny. But I'm only 21 years old, I have 10 years ahead of me. Jo made his break-through, Richard is having a lot of problems at the moment. It feels good not to be involved in the controversy. It's perfect...
- What did you think of all these stories around the Davis Cup?
- I'm backing Richard up all the way. He was missing Jo. Maybe he was missing me too . They're waiting for me. Now it's up to me to get off my ass in order to be on the Davis Cup team next year.
- Is it motivating for you to see a guy like Tsonga break into the top?
- No, because that's not how I'm working. It wouldn't be right to stand up at 7 o'clock in the morning to go running just because Jo is in a final. My motivation is coming from me.

Last edited by Truc : 04-22-2008 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:57 PM   #34
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

He was also asked in interviews about this "XV" pendant he's been wearing lately and said 15 is his lucky number and also the lucky number of his father and his uncle.
Not interesting, but I had been wondering about it.

He's the only Frenchie to have won his first round match.
Karlovic next.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:47 PM   #35
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

And a longer interview on the Eurosport website, I'll translate the new parts later:
http://fr.sports.yahoo.com/22042008/...-de-jouer.html
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:52 PM   #36
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

sure hope he can avenge seb
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:07 PM   #37
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

The summary of the Eurosport interviews ("La joie de jouer" + Monfils et "ses potes") - it sounds like he was really, really down during the time when he was injured and we had no news at all!

His sensations during the match were OK, nothing exceptional, but OK. He most of all was extremely concentrated.
He wasn't stressed at all when he saw he was playing Verdasco. He never pays much attention to his draw. He used to in the past, but now he's rather focussing on himself.
The time when he was injured was tough. He was thinking hard. And he also had some personal issues. Thierry Champion helped him a lot then. When he came back, he was still a little bit in pain. It's a downward spiral, you feel like everything goes the wrong way. He had a hard time of it. Now he has recovered his happiness and his desire to practice, so he's feeling much better.
His goals for the season: first, not get injured and play an entire season (he says that all the time, poor boy!) And the long-term goal is to come back into the top 20 or top 30. But he's taking every match and every tournament one at a time, really.
He doesn't set limits to himself. He still doesn't know what he's really able of at his best, but he hopes he'll find out very soon.
They're working more on his weak points in training - the knees, the thighs - they changed his preparation a little bit in that regard.
The journalist asks him about Jo since they're both very injury prone: they don't talk much about that. But they support each other because they know it's tough. Apparently, Jo's injury isn't that bad and Gaël is sure he will come back even stronger.
As for his schedule for the rest of the clay season, he'll play Munich next week, but he doesn't know after that.
About the fact that people are not paying so much attention to him anymore: apparently, he hasn't met some expectations, he's been injured, Jo and Richard were doing a great job, so people completely forgot about him, which was cool! He has no pressure. As soon as he'll start playing very well again, he knows that will come back too. He has plenty of time to resurface.
As for the controversy about Richard in Davis Cup, the media should have kept quiet. He doesn't know exactly what happened, there were some little problems, but the media are messing everything up, the guys should have gotten that settled by themselves. However, he's all the way with Richard who is a friend, they talk a lot and like each other a lot.

The rest isn't new.

Last edited by Truc : 04-22-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:28 PM   #38
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Grrr, I translated all this and I see now they have an interview in English on the website:
http://montecarlo.masters-series.com...8_monfils1.asp
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:03 PM   #39
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Thanks a lot, Truc, for the articles and the translation ( ).

It's cool to see the strong relations between our three youngsters and it would be too awesome to just imagine these ones in-form, high-ranked and in the french team together at the same time
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:49 AM   #40
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Thanks Truc, you are extremely helpful.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:05 AM   #41
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

De rien!

He's doing a good job so far! Poor start, Karlovic was leading 3-0, but he managed to come back although his baseline game really lacks depth and power indeed (I can see the ball today with the livestream, I couldn't on Monday!)
The TB was exciting, still far from flawless, but I loved the way he fought. He wasted TONS of occasions, then saved a SP and finally took his chance. He plays with a lot of heart, runs like crazy, there are kids cheering for him, it's nice to see.

*3-1 in the 2nd set now, Karlovic collapsed after the TB. I hope he can close it out quickly now because he's run so much, I'm afraid he might get tired...

Last edited by Truc : 04-23-2008 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:10 AM   #42
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

*5-1, Karlovic is woeful in the 2nd set - but all the merit goes to Gaël because the 1st set TB killed him . Allez!


Nice tank from Karlovic, we'll take it.

Bring on Federer!
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:15 AM   #43
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

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Old 04-23-2008, 11:51 AM   #44
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

It was a nicer match from Gael than the commentators made it sound. He was really far behind his baseline, but this time I think it was a tactical thing, because he was able that way to make competitive the serve game of Karlovic consistently throughout the match and that's a great feat, even on clay.

Now, it's probably gonna be Federer for the next round and I think that he has a chance. I'm watching his match right now against Ramirez and if Fed can't keep down his UEs, Gael can exhaust him on the long term with his great defense. Although he will need to be more agressive to force the decision.

Allez Gaelou, take the king down his piedestal
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:06 PM   #45
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

"autant pour moi" Fed is in deep trouble

The draw could be wide open for Gael

Edit: The king still lives, but barely. Take your chance, Gael.

Last edited by MacArthur : 04-23-2008 at 12:34 PM.
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