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Friday, June 30, 2017
Gaël Monfils, after a rather theatrical game against his buddy Richard Gasquet, joined the final of the Eastbourne tournament on Friday. He won in three heats (6-2, 6-7, 7-6) and will find Novak Djokovic in the final.
They did not make the trip for nothing. Gaël Monfils and Richard Gasquet offered two hours of tennis to the spectators of the central court of Eastbourne, alternating the pretty points and the incomprehensible scenes, especially after the real-false wound of the "Monf". It was at the end of the second set. While the younger of the two (30 against 31, but only three months apart) led a set, a break, he dropped and immediately held his knee. The interruption lasted five good minutes, but it is indeed Gaël Monfils who ended up winning in three sets (6-2, 6-7, 7-6).
This meeting was really theatrical. After squandering a match ball in the second inning when he seemed to be headed for an easy (and unexpected) win, it was almost certain that the Parisian was going to give up. But no, he went back to the fight and quickly broke up again. Endowed with a mind still bizarre, he eventually got himself disassembled while serving for the game at 5-4. But on his fourth match, Gaël Monfils made the difference in the decisive game.
For this fourth duel of the year between the two great friends, already, there is nothing illogical that the 16th world eliminates the 27th. What is much less is that it is the case on grass. Last week Gasquet had beaten him at Halle (3-6, 6-4, 6-3). It was his first semi-final on the surface since 2008, and he had never reached a final! It is surprising but not undeserved: 18 aces to zero (!), And a ratio of 41 points win against 34 direct faults, for only 14-21 side Gasquet. In a word, it was indeed Gaël Monfils who played the game.
"He put a little more pressure on me as I led 6-2, 4-2, that's where the drama started , smiled the winner on Eurosport. He saved a few amazing match balls, he Started to make me think a little. "It was very hard mentally." It could only end with a kiss in the net, of course. It will probably not exchange that kindness Saturday with Novak Djokovic , necessarily great favorite of the final on the eve of Wimbledon . "My knee is a bit painful, but I think it's going to go, it's hard to say, we're going to see ... I really hope to be 100% I will try to play my game, to be aggressive This incredible opponent. " It is true that for a first final on grass, it was easier.