Gael Monfils: Had nothing to lose against Novak Djokovic, had everything to win

France’s Gael Monfils admitted he was frustrated after being forced to give a walkover to Novak Djokovic at the Paris Masters. 

World No. 1 Djokovic received a free pass into the Paris quarterfinal after Monfils gave him a walkover on Thursday. 

“I’m frustrated, because once again, I love playing against the top players, and it’s always a good experience to play against Novak to see at what level you are,” Monfils said, per TENNIS magazine. “Honestly, I lost 17 times against him. I had nothing to lose, so I had everything to win.

“Yesterday the ultrasound was not great. This morning we did another ultrasound, it was not fantastic either… horrible frustration, because all of my family, my relatives are here.

“It would have been fantastic, but I hope I will have the possibility to play him again and to bother him or even beat him.”

Monfils reflects on his season

“The season was very, very hard this year,” said Monfils, who is No. 22 in the rankings. “Professionally, a lot of changes. I was not able to adapt to this pandemic, the way the tour was going with the empty stadiums, so I took a long break.

“The second part of the season, I think everything started going well. I started feeling better both physically and in my game. Then the audience was back and more adrenaline, more nice moments, more joy and being happier on the court. It was much better.”

Monfils’ hamstring injury is expected to keep him sidelined for two weeks. 

Monfils wasn’t nominated for the Davis Cup Finals by France captain Sebastian Grosjean. 

“I’m feeling well. I feel that my game goes in the right direction,” he said. “I’m very happy I was able to bounce back in the second part of the season. Now I have a lot of work to do both physically in terms of tennis and also mentally to be able to be ready for the next season.”

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