One of the nice surprises of 2016 has been the play of Gael Monfils. The Frenchman has sidelined the showboating antics this year in favor of a more focused game. And results are clear.
Monfils began the year ranked No. 24 and he’s already up 10 spots after reaching his first clay Masters final yesterday in Monte Carlo.
He’s also 20-6 on the season with two finals and a quarterfinal at the Australian Open and quarters or better at all three Masters events.
With the French Open just a month away, Monfils, a former semifinalist there, is targeting Paris. At age 29 under new coach Mikael Tillstrom, could Monfils be someone who could actually win a Grand Slam?
“I’m continuing to learn. In two weeks I’m hoping to be better,” Monfils said Sunday after losing to Rafael Nadal in three sets. “In three weeks, too, and be better for the French Open. I’m not thinking about the French Open right now. As I’ve always said, I want to continue improving and winning a title. I want to win a big title. A big title could have been here already.
“I’m far, but I’m not that far. I’m going to practice well because I want to go to Madrid being ready for all that. And in Rome, too. After that, the French Open is a dream. It’s my dream.”
Monfils is scheduled to play in Munich next week.
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