Gaël Monfils says stop in 2020. After his retirement on Monday in Vienna against Pablo Carreno Busta (6-1, 2-0 ab.), The Frenchman held a press conference Tuesday on his Twitch channel to take stock of his situation. Confirming his current total lack of confidence – he has not won since his post-suspension return from the circuit in Rome in early September, i.e. 4 defeats in 4 matches – he revealed that he had withdrawn from the Rolex Paris Masters (2-8 November) next week and officially ended its season. Like Denis Shapovalov, the French number 1 is therefore officially no longer in the race for the London Masters.
He obviously needed to open up. Gaël Monfils engaged in a great exercise of openness by publicly answering questions from a few journalists on Tuesday. And he has put words into the difficult period he has been going through since returning to the circuit. “I am sad on the court. I don’t have good feelings, even if in my personal life, things are going well “, he blurted out straight away. Then he quickly put an end to the suspense about his schedule for the next few weeks. “I am not going to play at Bercy, I am putting an end to my season. I am going to cut tennis“, he said.
The confinement hurt me a lot, I didn’t manage to adapt well
The 11th player in the world has not tried to find excuses, as he has repeatedly said. Just to share a feeling. How to explain the contrast between his explosive start to the season and this resumption without intensity or results? “I have bad feelings. It’s very mental, it’s mental security. Of course it’s in my head… I hurt myself yesterday (Monday) because of the tension I feel. When I lack confidence, I have to take a little break and then work again with my mental coach and review things. We are full of players to chain defeats. We don’t care if there are 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10. The most important thing is to break the spiral “, he analyzed.
Like many people, Monfils also suffered from the forced break linked to the coronavirus and especially the confinement. “The confinement turned me off, hurt me a lot. I did not manage to adapt well, to make the right choices on my return. I was away from my family, it’s been a little over a year since I last saw my mother physically for example. It affected me a lot“, he still revealed, sincere. Far from feeling sorry for his fate, he also expressed his admiration for the capacity of others, foremost among which Rafael Nadal still titled at Roland- Garros, to remain efficient in these conditions.
As for the resumption of the circuit behind closed doors or almost, the Parisian also had a hard time getting used to it, as we expected. He who adores playing with spectators and drawing energy from them, he could not ignore the new situation. “Today, I can tell you: it pisses me off that there is no audience. Yesterday (Monday during his first round in Vienna, Editor’s note), besides, I stopped a little later than I should have – I wanted to give up at 4-1 in the first set – because there were people “, he still confided. It is therefore time for him to draw a line on a sad end of the year. Head for 2021 with one goal: rediscover the pleasure to transform this vicious circle into a virtuous circle.