May 29, 2013 by Parveer Mann
As I was watching coverage of today’s second round, the broadcast kept flipping back and forth from court Chatrier and Lenglen. It wasn’t odd because those are the two feature courts at Roland Garros and at that moment, Roger Federer was close to winning his first set against Somdev Devvarman on Lenglen.
But at no fault of Federer’s, I was selfishly hoping that they would have stayed with Chatrier a bit longer and I could think of only one reason: to keep watching the compelling Gael Monfils back at the French Open.
La Monf excites again
He hasn’t played in his home slam since 2011 when he beat David Ferrer in a thrilling fourth round match before falling to Federer in the quarters. The following few years have been full of injuries and poor results that have seen his ranking plummet and the need for a wild card just to compete in this year’s event.
So when he was drawn against world number six, Tomas Berdych, there was little expectation of advancing and truly nothing to lose. That is the reason it was so exciting to see Monfils once again embrace the French support and deliver the first big upset of the tourney in beating Berdych.
Natural talent and showmanship
The thing that makes it especially gratifying to see Monfils doing well here is to continue to see him slide and dive at almost every ball that comes his way. He is already one of the most athletically talented players on tour and that is just highlighted on clay when he is sliding after dropshots.
Throw in the natural playfulness like casually recording the crowd after the 3rd set doing the wave on his phone and it usually means must watch tennis. He has even made a believer of Andy Murray who has become a huge supporter while he is recuperating.
Next up for Monfils in the third round is Spaniard Tommy Robredo and all I have to say to my local broadcaster is to make sure to show more Monfils please!