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Old 04-23-2008, 02:23 PM   #46
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

The way he ended that tiebreak and the way the second set went really dropped my jaw...Gael, where have you been?!?! I'm just glad you are back...the fed match will hopefully be incredible
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:28 PM   #47
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Frenchman Gael Monfils did not concede one ace against 6' 10'' Ivo Karlovic in a 7-6(8), 6-1 win over the Croatian. It was the first time in Karlovic's 225-match ATP career that he had failed to serve an ace in a match.

Monfils, who has not won a tournament since his first ATP title in Sopot almost three years ago, had won just two matches this season before arriving in Monte Carlo.

Monfils said: "I was stressed about Karlovic's game because I wanted to make him play as many balls as possible because I know he's not so good at that. But thinking about that stressed me, and I played too short."

Monfils said he played better when he decided to become more aggressive. "I wanted to take risks and I wanted to take advantage of some of his weaknesses."
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:52 PM   #48
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Gael Federer will be a test of not just ability but also Gael's mental state. Good luck!!!
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:48 PM   #49
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Happy that Gael has already got two wins this week He didn't have to do anything special against Ivo today, just kept playing the ball back to his BH until the big man made a mistake. I wish he played more aggressively when he had the chance.
I wonder how he will approach the Federer match tomorrow... Good luck to him anyway.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:12 PM   #50
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBdV View Post
He didn't have to do anything special against Ivo today, just kept playing the ball back to his BH until the big man made a mistake.
That's funny, not at all the impression I had by watching the first set (Karlovic didn't try in the 2nd set, so it's another story). I saw Karlovic volleying quite a lot (because Gaël's shots were too short), so Gaël had to fight really hard and was running all over the place to bring everything back imo.
But well, maybe I have a distorted perception of his matches, I'm suffering with him.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:19 PM   #51
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Awesome! Now take down Roger!
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:28 AM   #52
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Today in L’Equipe:
Quote:
Une chance pour Monfils ?
Les sueurs froides du numéro 1 mondial hier fleurent-elles bon l’aubaine pour le rastafari français ? Pas si sûr…
SURTOUT, rester terre à terre. C’est de saison. Hier, le contenu de la victoire de Gaël Monfils contre Ivo « pas dans mon assiette » Karlovic (7-6, 6-1) n’aura fait grimper personne aux rideaux. Mais Monfils ne s’en formalisait pas trop. Une victoire est une victoire. Celle-là était la deuxième de suite (après celle contre Verdasco), petit bonheur qu’il n’avait plus ressenti depuis le tournoi de Bucarest en septembre dernier. Comme à Miami voilà trois semaines, Roger Federer vient aujourd’hui tester l’homme chewing gum. Vu l’entrée sauve-qui-peut du Suisse hier, vu qu’en Floride Monfils n’avait pas été si dépassé (défaite 6-3, 6-4), on aurait vite fait de céder au fantasme d’un exploit de notre rasta rocket. « Hou ! là, faut pas s’enflammer », priait gentiment Monfils. Voici pourquoi.
QUAND ROGER FAIT GAGNER GAËL. – Directement concerné hier par les cabrioles inattendues de Federer, Monfils retarda son arrivée en conférence de presse. Sur la télé du vestiaire, il regardait la remontée du maître, « cap’ » de mettre sa main au feu que Ramirez-Hidalgo n’y arriverait pas. « C’était marrant ce truc, rigolait Monfils. J’étais carrément certain que Roger allait s’en sortir. J’ai gagné pas mal de restos avec cette histoire. J’ai parié avec quelques camarades dans le vestiaire, et voilà : Roger et moi avons gagné ! » Par tous les temps, Monfils est « federerophile ». Et qu’on n’essaye pas de lui faire prendre des lanternes pour des vessies. « Roger a prouvé vachement de fois qu’il savait serrer le jeu dans des moments pareils. C’est un bon guerrier. On a beau dire Roger ceci, Roger cela, le mec n’a pas perdu. On me dit que sur terre il est davantage prenable et moi je vois qu’il reste sur deux finales à Roland-Garros. Y a que Nadal qui le bat à Paris, c’est pas la honte ça quand même ! Contre Roger, ce sera un match sympathique. Sympathique, ça ne veut pas dire que je vais faire le show. C’est d’abord un match à gagner. »
QUAND GAËL ÉTONNE ROGER. – « Il joue assez loin de sa ligne, ce qui est quand même incroyable. » On ne la fait pas à Roger Federer qui connaît son actu tennis sur le bout des ongles. Effectivement, Monfils joue défenseur en ce moment. C’était clair contre Verdasco, c’était net contre Karlovic. Crispé, le bras timide, les jambes nouées, le Français n’arrivait pas à sortir de sa coquille. « J’ai voulu juste remettre la balle dans le terrain en pensant que Karlovic me donnerait tout. Mes balles étaient courtes, sans poids, et ça m’a stressé d’être pris là-dedans. J’étais trop défensif. » « Gaël a oublié de faire le jeu, rien ne sortait de sa raquette, surtout pas au retour », corroborait Thierry Champion, son coach. À 8-7 dans le tie-break, Monfils dut affronter une balle de set, après en avoir caviardé deux dans ce même jeu décisif. Une faute en coup droit du Peter Crouch du circuit vint comme une bénédiction. Deux autres suivirent en revers, Monfils put enfin se détendre (10-8, tiebreak dans la poche) et Karlovic nous régaler de son festival d’horreurs tennistiques. « Le mérite de Gaël, félicitait Champion, c’est que même en jouant très mal, il reste dedans. Il ne s’agace jamais et il prend du plaisir à souffrir. »
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:59 AM   #53
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Here's a very, very simplified translation:

A chance for Monfils?
Is the big scare of the world number 1 yesterday a godsend for the French rastafari? Not sure at all...

Rule #1: stay down to earth. Nobody went into ecstasies about the victory over an "off-colour" Ivo Karlovic yesterday. But Monfils wasn't too worried about it. A win is a win. His second in a row, a little joy he hadn't felt since Bucharest. Like in Miami 3 weeks ago, the "rubber man" will now be tested by Federer. In regard of Federer's first round and of the decent match played by Monfils in Florida, some might dream of a feat of our "rasta rocket". "Hou là! Don't get too excited!" Monfils gently says. Here are the reasons why:
- When Roger earns Gaël money:
Directly concerned by the unexpected 'capers' of Federer yesterday, Monfils delayed his press conference. He was watching the comeback of the master in the locker rooms, ready to stake his life on the fact that Ramirez-H. wouldn't close it out. "It was a funny match, Monfils laughes. I was absolutely sure Roger was going to win. I won a couple of dinners at the restaurant with that one! I bet with a few guys in the locker rooms, and see: Roger and I won!" Whatever happens, Monfils is "federophile" (= a Federer fan). And don't try to pull the wool over his eyes. "Roger has proved many times he's able to play better in that kind of situations. He's a good warrior. People say 'Roger is doing this, Roger is doing that', but the guy hasn't lost yet. You tell me he's beatable on clay, I see that he's made 2 finals in a row in Roland-Garros. Only Nadal can beat him in Paris, which isn't a shame! Against Roger, it will be a fun match. Fun doesn't mean I'll pull off a show. It's a real match."
- When Gaël surprises Roger:
"He plays pretty far behind his baseline, which is quite amazing." Roger Federer perfectly knows the latest tennis news. Indeed, Monfils is in defending mood. It was obvious against Verdasco and clear against Karlovic. Very tight and tentative, the Frenchie didn't manage to come out of his shell: "I was just trying to keep the ball in game, thinking that Karlovic would make errors and give me the points. My shots were short, without power, I got stressed. I was too defensive." "Gaël forgot to play, the ball didn't come off his racquet, especially on his returning games", Champion confirms. At 8-7 in the tiebreak, Monfils faced a setpoint after having wasted two already. A FH error of the "Peter Crouch" of the circuit came like a blessing. Two other BH errors and Monfils could finally relax, while Karlovic was keeping up with the dreadful errors fest. "Gaël's merit is that even when he plays very poorly, he doesn't give up", Champion says. "He never lets it get to him and enjoys suffering."

Last edited by Truc : 04-24-2008 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:08 AM   #54
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

And his interview in English:
http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=49106
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:36 AM   #55
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

the Peter Crouch of the circuit

thanks Truc
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:44 AM   #56
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

I had to google that one, I had never heard of Peter Crouch before!
The article is quite funny in French, that's why I translated it, but I'm afraid it got lost in translation.

I find the description of the match a bit harsh, TBH (Benoît also said the French commentators were quite harsh), they really make it sound like it was a complete mugfest if you haven't seen the match.
I know his baseline game looked weak for a good part, I wrote that myself and he says it too, but there were some nice moments. The setpoint in the TB wasn't just an error of Karlovic, for example, Gaël came to the net out of the blue to take the set, I just watched the highlights again.
It was a Monfils match, it's never going to be pretty, you have to enjoy the drama.

Last edited by Truc : 04-24-2008 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:14 AM   #57
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

He's on the entry list of the Marrakech Challenger, btw - it's the week of Hamburg. :-/
(He already skipped Hamburg last year to play a Challenger in Zagreb, he is avoiding me!)
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:00 PM   #58
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Default Re: Clay season 2008


TBH, I hardly watched after Fed broke in the 1st set, I knew it was going to turn into a beatdown then and since I couldn't see the ball and the only thing I saw was his court positioning, it was too much of a pain to watch.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:04 PM   #59
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truc View Post

TBH, I hardly watched after Fed broke in the 1st set, I knew it was going to turn into a beatdown then and since I couldn't see the ball and the only thing I saw was his court positioning, it was too much of a pain to watch.
Same here, I only watched the beginning of the 1st set

Too bad he's avoiding Hamburg again, I'm sorry for you
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:11 PM   #60
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Default Re: Clay season 2008

Gael lost and it was a little match from him.

In the first set, he was far too passive to have any chance against fed and he made too many UEs in the second.

What I found truly sad is that I never really had the feeling that Gael played that match to win it. I mean it seems to me that he was just moonballing a nice challenger match with Fed to please the crowd before coming back to the real busness next time. He really lacked the killer instinct he showed sometimes during the two previous match.

Well, maybe he will be more agressive and less "respectueux" next time he'll play Fed. But that's truly sad cause he would have had his chances by being more serious.

If every french player is so nice with Fed when they play him, I understand why Fed likes to play the frenchies

And yeah Truc, I agree with you. I think that he has the athleticism to be dangerous everywhere on the court, even ten meters behind his baseline. So he can play efficiently the defensive style against the big servers to have more time to return.
But sometimes he need to be more agressive, more glued to his baseline to make prevail his power and he should have done it several time during his match against Fed.
Basicaly what I am trying to say is that it's not a rule for him to be always glued to his baseline like the average player. He has the athleticism to make the best tactical choice for each opponent, unlike, for instance, Richard who have all the reason in the world to play on his baseline.

Last edited by MacArthur : 04-24-2008 at 02:21 PM.
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