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Old 01-05-2009, 01:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

The attitude and the concentration really were OK for his standards too, no unnecessary fall, no grimace, he did a good job.
14 winners, 14 UE.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truc View Post
The attitude and the concentration really were OK for his standards too, no unnecessary fall, no grimace, he did a good job.
14 winners, 14 UE.
great start for a 1st match then, thanks for the updates Fran, looks like I was there
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

Devilder up next, Gael shouldn't have too many problems.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:07 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

The article in L'Equipe:
Quote:
Monfils, c’est costaud
Le Français, vainqueur expéditif du Tchèque Hernych (6-2, 6-2), a été aussi impressionnant que ses biceps. DOHA – (QAT) - de notre envoyé spécial

AVEC SA SUPERBE coupe pétard, le Gaël a décoiffé. Le vent du désert soufflait fort. En d’autres temps, le nouveau numéro 13 mondial aurait laissé s’envoler quelques jeux dans ce vent mauvais. Rien de tel hier sur le central. Dès cinq heures, le thermomètre, aidé par le zéphyr, imposait une petite laine. Pas pour Monfils, qui évoluait avec ses habituels tee-shirts sans manches. D’où la vision impressionnante de ses biscoteaux. Le garçon s’est étoffé par rapport à sa dernière sortie officielle. C’était fin octobre, au deuxième tour de Bercy, pour une sèche défaite contre Nadal. Deux semaines de travail intensif en décembre avec son coach australien Roger Rasheed sont passées par là. Le Tchèque Jan Hernych (86e à l’ATP) fit long feu face au Français affûté. Son jeu académique n’avait aucune chance de déstabiliser un Monfils solide à l’engagement (70 % de premières balles, 7 aces, 2 doubles fautes) et bien en jambes. Un petit moment d’inattention, alors qu’il servait à 5-1 pour le match, lui coûta un break anecdotique. Le numéro 3 français ne pouvait pas mieux commencer l’année, même en relativisant le test par les limites de son adversaire (qui l’avait poussé aux trois sets en 2005 à Lyon). « J’ai aimé ma constance, résumait l’intéressé. Avec le vent, les conditions étaient un peu difficiles, mais je ne suis jamais sorti de mon jeu. » Les sautes de courant, les balles dans les bâches sont à ranger au rayon « antiquités ». Il est vrai que le « boss » veille au grain, désormais. Son entraîneur a apprécié cette entrée en matière : « Rien à dire, résume Rasheed. Gaël a été dedans tout le temps. Il a fait ce que j’attendais de lui. Il a concentré son énergie dans la bonne direction. » Le duo semble branché sur la même longueur d’onde. Si les muscles du joueur sont de plus en plus spectaculaires, que dire du coffre du coach ? Le sweat-shirt ne peut cacher une charpente impressionnante. Rasheed se régale à l’idée de ce qu’il va pouvoir faire avec le joyau dont il a hérité depuis quelques mois.
Pas rouler sa mécanique
« Gaël est un athlète naturel. On n’a encore rien vu. Rendez-vous dans un an. » Mais le body-building n’a rien à voir avec le tennis. Monfils le sait bien. Il ne veut pas rouler sa mécanique. « C’est vrai que j’ai beaucoup bossé ces quinze derniers jours avec Roger (à prononcer “Rodgeur”, comme Federer). L’idée, ce n’est pas seulement de prendre de la puissance, mais surtout d’empêcher les blessures. On voit surtout mes bras, mais les cuisses, c’est pas mal non plus. »
Il y a un an, il soignait une blessure au genou qui allait lui coûter deux mois d’absence. Le revoilà ainsi sur la terre de ses exploits de 2006 quand il avait poussé Federer au tie-break du deuxième set en finale. Pour réussir à se hisser à nouveau en finale, il est condamné à un exploit dès les quarts. La logique voudrait que Nadal soit à ce moment-là sur sa route. Même si Santoro espère sortir un nouvel exploit de sa boîte à malice aujourd’hui face au Majorquin. Avant ce choc éventuel, Monfils devra s’imposer demain dans un duel franco-français. Nicolas Devilder a été un facile vainqueur du régional de l’étape, le Qatarien Abdulla Hajji, qui n’est même pas classé à l’ATP. Sans faire fi de la menace que représente le joueur dacquois (no 72 à l’ATP), qu’il n’a jamais rencontré sur le circuit ATP, Monfils espère très fort des retrouvailles avec Nadal. « Difficile de trouver un test plus intéressant », salive-t-il d’avance. Il a envie d’éprouver sa nouvelle cylindrée face à la Rolls du circuit. Une victoire le rembourserait d’emblée de l’investissement fait pendant les fêtes de fin d’année.
« Comment ça, s’amuser un peu pour les fêtes ? » Il s’étonne de l’incongruité de la question avec ses grands yeux scintillants. Enfin, oui, le 25 décembre, j’ai été invité à déjeuner chez Roger. À part ça, ça a été boulot, boulot. »
Pas de cotillons pour la Monf’, qu’on se le dise !
PASCAL COVILLE
He was "as impressive as his muscles are".
It was very windy and the old Monfils would probably have blown a few games. It was cold too, but it didn't prevent him from wearing his usual sleeveless shirts, so everybody could appreciate his impressive pair of biceps after 2 weeks of work-out with Rasheed.
Gaël says he liked his consistency, the conditions were not easy with the wind, but he never got off his game. No sudden changes in his game anymore, no shots landing outside the court. "The boss" (Rasheed) was pleased too: "Gaël did what I expected him to do. He channelled his energy in the right direction." Rasheed (whose muscles also are quite impressive) is drooling over Gaël being a natural athlete, as usual, and says people haven't seen anything yet. But tennis and body-building are two different things and Gaël knows it. He explains the main idea is to prevent the injuries. The changes are very obvious on his arms, but his legs are not bad either, he says. He has really worked hard in December and "his big, sparkling eyes" look even surprised when he's asked how he celebrated Christmas and New Year's Eve - he says he was just invited to lunch at Roger's place on the 25th of December, the rest was work, work and work.

Last edited by Truc : 01-06-2009 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:26 AM   #20
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

I'm not too fond of the muscles obsession, but as the journalist points out, they seem to be on the same wavelength with Rasheed, it's probably the kind of things which appeal to Gaël too.
I just hope it really helps to prevent injuries, carrying extra-weight on the court doesn't sound very easy on the body to me?

Quote:
Monfils, Roddick stay hot on cold Doha night - By N.D. Prashant
(...) Both Monfils and Hernych had last played against each other in 2005 at the Lyon Open and the result, then too, had favoured the former. Back then, Hernych had showed more grit forcing the match into a three-setter.
However, last evening Monfils was in no mood to give any leeway to his unseeded opponent. The Frenchman, who had arrived almost a week before the event began, stormed into a 3-1 lead after breaking Hernych in the fourth game.
A series of unforced errors made matters worse for the Czech, whose best performance last year was a quarter-final spot in the Stuttgart Open. Monfils then broke Hernych in the eighth to seal the set in his favour.
The second set too saw a similar pattern of play with Hernych offering least resistance to Monfils’ charge who raced to a 5-1 lead. On a forgettable evening for him, Hernych salvaged some pride by breaking Monfils’ serve in the seventh game but the latter quickly broke back in the ninth to seal the set and the match at 6-2.
“It was easy but I would credit it to the training that I had put in ahead of this tournament. I did everything perfect today. If I win one more match, I will be meeting Nadal and that’s what I’m looking forward to,” said the Frenchman, whose best effort last year was to reach the semis of the Roland Garros where he lost to Roger Federer.
Despite the comprehensive win, Monfils chose to keep his plans for the season under wraps by saying, “Yes, I have set certain goals for myself for sure but I would like to keep it to myself as of now. The focus is on getting things right in every match I play.”
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topic...9&parent_id=29
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:07 AM   #21
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

In l'Equipe today:
Quote:
Les travaux d’Hercule
Gaël Monfils affronte aujourd’hui Rafael Nadal. Pas du gâteau. En trois rencontres, il n’a pas fait plus de trois jeux par set. DOHA – (QAT) de notre envoyé spécial

IL LE VOULAIT, le voilà ! Monfils va donc se coltiner l’ogre dès le troisième match de sa saison. Il a dû se battre pour obtenir son rendez-vous contre le numéro 1 mondial. L’étonnant Nicolas Devilder (no 72 à l’ATP) lui rendit coup pour coup avant de s’incliner 7-5, 7-6 après 2 h 8’. Gaucher lui-même, le Dacquois fut plus qu’un apéritif pour le plat de résistance d’aujourd’hui. Il eut même une balle de deuxième set. C’est donc à l’Everest que s’attaque joyeusement Monfils. Il devra être bien plus performant qu’hier pour un éventuel exploit et mettre un terme à une série de trois défaites sans appel (voir par ailleurs). « Ça n’a pas été du très grand tennis de la part de Gaël, mais son adversaire, sans pression, a très bien joué le coup, résumait son entraîneur Roger Rasheed. Il a dû se battre jusqu’au bout. L’attitude a été bonne. » L’issue aurait été plus rapide s’il avait eu un meilleur taux de conversion de ses balles de break (2/9). Car Devilder, au gabarit réduit (1,73 m), pèche au service. « J’aurais dû faire mieux sur certaines de ces balles, reconnaissait l’intéressé. Je l’ai un peu laissé jouer ou bien j’ai tenté des trucs venus de nulle part. Mais, dans l’ensemble, je ne suis pas mécontent de ce match. J’ai plutôt bien servi et j’ai eu de bonnes séquences en revers. Voilà, ç’a été un bon test. J’ai deux matches dans les jambes, je suis prêt. » Vraiment ? Retour à la mythologie. Dans les fameux douze travaux d’Hercule, on en a sélectionné trois. D’abord « battre à la course la biche de Cérynie ». Nadal n’a rien d’une biche, mais il galope le bougre. Pourtant, hier, Monfils était prêt à le défier sur ce plan : « Un de mes atouts, c’est la couverture de terrain. » Passons au deuxième exercice : « Dompter le taureau crétois de Minos. » « J’ai mon coup droit », rappelle Gaël au rayon de ses armes favorites. Ça tombe bien, Nadal aussi. On a gardé le meilleur pour la fin : « Descendre aux enfers et enchaîner Cerbère le chien monstrueux aux trois têtes. »
Monfils : « Ne pas le regarder jouer »
Comme les trois claques qu’il a prises contre « Rafa ». « Minute, corrige Monfils. Les scores sont un peu sévères. À Bercy, j’ai eu un paquet de balles de break (neuf, toutes manquées). Si j’avais mieux négocié les points importants, ça aurait été une autre affaire. » « En plus, il avait mal servi, ajoute Rasheed. Gaël doit absolument grappiller des points gratuits au service contre un joueur du calibre de Nadal. » « Gaël a un service très gênant, explique Devilder. Son slice fait mal contre un gaucher. En plus, il peut toucher toutes les zones en masquant bien. » Le service sera la clé de l’exploit, si tant est qu’il y en ait une face à un Nadal déjà à fond. Hier, il a corrigé Karol Beck comme il avait expédié Santoro la veille. « Nadal est très impressionnant, admet Rasheed, mais Gaël a beaucoup progressé. Il n’y a pas de plan de jeu, sinon quelques détails. L’idée pour Gaël est de jouer son jeu, d’être entreprenant. » Et de ne pas céder un pouce de terrain. « Je dois tenir ma ligne, analyse l’intéressé, sinon je peux en prendre une grosse. Et surtout ne pas le regarder jouer. » L’Espagnol a, comme Federer, cette capacité à hypnotiser ses adversaires. Nicolas Devilder est raisonnablement optimiste : « Demain (aujourd’hui), Gaël sera dans ma situation : sans pression. Il pourra tout lâcher. Il a une petite chance. » Comme d’habitude, Nadal prend l’adversaire au sérieux. « Ce n’est pas parce que je l’ai battu trois fois sur trois que je vais le mésestimer. Je sais ce qu’il peut faire, notamment au service. » Le numéro 1 mondial ne baissera pas sa garde.
PASCAL COVILLE
He had to fight hard during more than 2 hours. Devilder, a leftie like Nadal, was more than an appetizer. Gaël will need to be way better today if he wants to put an end to his bad series against Rafa (he has never won more than 3 games in a set in 3 matches). Rasheed says it wasn't great tennis from Gaël, but the opponent had no pressure and tried his luck really well too, Gaël had to fight until the very last point and his attitude was good.
It could have been a quicker win if he had converted his break points better since Nico's serve isn't very good. Gaël admits he could have done better on BP, he let Nico play his game then or tried crazy things. But he isn't unhappy about his match, all in all, he served pretty well, he was striking the ball well on the BH wing, it was a good test, he feels ready.
The journalist suggests he isn't exactly ready to play Nadal. But Gaël means the scorelines were a bit harsh in his last matches against Rafa, he had 9 BP in Bercy, he wasted all of them, but it would have been different if he had been able to play better on these points. Rasheed points out Gaël's serve also was below par in Bercy, he definitely needs to win a lot of free points on his serve against Nadal. Devilder says Gaël's serve is not easy to handle, his slice is very annoying for lefties and it's not easy to read. So the serve will be the key today.
Rasheed admits Nadal was very impressive again against Beck, but Gaël has improved a lot in his opinion. There won't be any special gameplan, he just needs to play his game and to be aggressive. Gaël says he needs to stay close to his baseline or he will get a real beatdown, and the most important thing will be to not watch Rafa play because Rafa has the ability to "hypnotize" his opponents. Nico means Gaël will be in the same situation as he was yesterday, nothing to lose, he has a small chance.

I saw Rafa's first two matches, he plays like he's on a mission and wants to win the whole thing without losing more than 2 games per set, he's scary, really.
2nd match of the day today, matches start at 4 pm.

Last edited by Truc : 01-08-2009 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:18 PM   #22
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

outstanding gael there,so impressed by his match today!

he made so high quality improvements,especially his backhand, he can attack with it now.Everything was perfect.His serve too.

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #23
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha



That cross-court backhand was just poetic today.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:47 PM   #24
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

I for myself have a soft spot for the volleying.
But the serve and the FH were looking great too!

It felt unreal. I should have more faith in you, Gaëlou.
(Well, I had faith in Bercy, but since it turned quite badly there, I was scared for today.)

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Old 01-08-2009, 04:04 PM   #25
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

The difference with bercy is that gael kept a vey positive attitude for all the match.Jumping,running,fist pumped

he was totally in control of the match,nadal was annoyed and didnt find the solution against that monfils.

Congrats to him,he seemed so happy after the win

now take out roddick
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:51 PM   #26
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:14 PM   #27
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

He did it

He converted

He had all he needed to have to win against a big one and he converted beautifully. I am gutted not to have the faith to follow his match, but ultimately you are there, Gael. And it's well deserved .

I just can't wait to see what this magnificent 2009 year of tennis has in store for us, fan of the frenchies.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:22 PM   #28
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

Unreal!
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:51 PM   #29
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

Quote:
Glorious Gael blows Rafa away
By N.D. Prashant
GAEL Monfils of France produced the biggest upset of the new season when he knocked out World No 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain 6-4, 6-4 in a thrilling quarterfinal match at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open yesterday.

A Nadal versus Monfils match was always going to be a humdinger. If Nadal is known for his amazing fitness and energy levels, Monfils is the ultimate entertainer. Monfils’ spiked hair, his elastic limbs and his tremendous athleticism all add up to a produce a unique personality that enriches the game and enthralls its fans.
This was the fourth battle between Nadal and Monfils and the former had emerged victorious in all the previous three. Nadal had won 6-3, 6-2 on the clay courts of Rome in 2005, 6-2, 6-2 on the Monte-Carlo in 2006 and most recently last year at the Master Series in Paris 6-3, 6-2.
However, interestingly, on all the three occasions what had let Monfils down was his inability to convert his break points. He is also often criticised for his erratic form on court but last night Monfils was at his supreme best.
Matching his much-superior rival in every stroke, the Frenchman never looked like losing at any stage. His booming serves at speeds over 170kmph were no less lethal that Nadal’s very own.
Handling the long rallies well, Monfils broke Nadal in the fourth game with a brilliant forehand down the line return, on the second break point, to go 3-1 up in the first set.
However, in the fit of excitement he failed to hold on to his serve in the fifth, following poor finishing.
The match then went on serves but all through, it was the top seed Nadal who was doing the catching up. With Monfils holding his serve in the ninth at 5-4, the pressure was back on Nadal to hold his serve to stay in the set.
And as we say, even the best can wilt when it matters most and Nadal faltered. The top spin returns, on which the Spaniard relies most, let him down. Monfils, then made sure not to miss out on the two set points he got and celebrated pumping his chest and screaming to fire up the crowd.
With the champion trailing by a set, the stage was set for an absorbing contest in the second. Monfils held serve authoritatively at love for an early lead. The onus was once again on the Nadal and with Monfils coming hard, the former had to sweat it out to hold his own.
After going on serves until the third game, Nadal just managed to keep serve in the fourth, escaping two break points. The match then went on serves and again Nadal had to shoulder the pressure of hanging on to his serve in the 10th to save the match.
However, once again the Beijing Olympics gold medalist lacked the nerve. He not only failed to keep the ball in play but also double-faulted to allow Monfils to go in for the kill. With the kind of form the Frenchman was in yesterday, he was too good to miss out on the opportunity. It was curtains for Nadal as he hit wide at 15-40.
“He (Monfils) played better than me. Losing is ok as he was serving well and not making mistakes. I had my chances in the first set but I did not take them. I made a mistake in the second and he took it,” said visibly dejected Nadal.
“I have not yet got my rhythm. I think I need a little more time to get it. But I’m happy with the way I’m playing.”
An elated Monfils credited his success to his concentration on court. “I think I was very focused today. I had an almost perfect start to the match and I played well on most points. I didn’t allow him to settle down. I think he was a little tired (in the second set). I kept my serves and I am very happy about that.”
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topic...9&parent_id=29
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:57 PM   #30
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Default Re: 2009 starts in Doha

He leads 3-1 in his h2h against A-Rod and won the last 3 encounters, but Andy was playing well today, he looked better than in Madrid imo (and the 2 other wins were on clay):
http://www.atpworldtour.com/3/en/pla...layernum2=MC65

1st match of the day tomorrow at 4 pm local time.
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