The ordeal continues for Gaël Monfils. Since he resumed competition in Rome in September, the French tennis leader has still not won: four matches, four defeats and confidence at a standstill. Worse, in Vienna on Monday, he could not even complete his match against the 15th world player Pablo Carreno Busta. In 39 tiny minutes spent on the Austrian central court, he only scored one game before throwing in the towel (6-1, 2-0 ab.), Visibly hampered by several pains in his right arm and neck.
Will we see Gaël Monfils at Paris-Bercy next week? Nothing is less certain if one relies on what we saw of the world number 11 on the court Monday. Or rather to what we have not seen. Because the French, unfortunately for him, did not have much to show. The visible relaxation of Liam Smith, installed in the stand, was undoubtedly a way of changing the scene, as she decided with the performance of her protégé.
End of season on the horizon?
It didn’t take long to realize that this wouldn’t be the day of the hoped-for rebound. Difficult to find a term more appropriate than catastrophic to describe the start of the game of the French who quickly conceded the double break, committing no less than 4 double faults in two service games (including 3 in the same). On the other side of the net, Carreno Busta had only to win, or almost. Because in the few long exchanges, he quickly showed himself to be much more solid than his opponent who only hit a small winning shot (for 15 unforced errors).
Semi-finalist at the US Open and quarter-finalist at Roland Garros, the Spaniard was, anyway, the wind in his sails and would have been difficult to move for a player inhabited by doubt. If Monfils had mathematical hopes of qualifying for the Masters before the Vienna-Bercy sequence, they surely fainted, overtaken by the cruel reality of the moment. As non-existent now as it is exciting at the start of the season, it is undoubtedly time to turn the page 2020 to start again on the right foot in 2021.