The new Gael Monfils has arrived. It is he who says it. At the age of 32, the Frenchman is approaching the 2019 Roland-Garros with a very different mentality from previous years. "As I said, I really believe it, launched the 16th world player against the press this Friday. Saying it is one thing but, deep down, do you really believe it? We should not be afraid to say it: I really believe in it! Many times, you may be afraid of the result and this year I am not afraid of the result, frankly, honestly. I had a lot of work on that. "
Monfils refers to the many tournaments he and his fellow players have had in the past, with the (bad) creed: "Do not want to lose more than want to win".
The new Gael Monfils is there and no doubt that the public is eager to see him shine on clay Paris, one year after elimination in the third round. The powerful right-hander remains a man apart, as much thanks to his spectacular play as his personality. And Roland-Garros is the Grand Slam tournament that suits the best tennis player born in Paris.
With a semi-final and three quarterfinals already played in Paris, the French has its benchmarks and will start on Monday or Tuesday in the first round, with the state of mind of a potential winner. "I did not announce wanting to win Roland Garros, he cut. I said I wanted to win a big title, a big tournament. Which includes Roland-Garros but also all the other Grand Slam tournaments. "
"Let my knee let go a little"
The Gael Monfils new to another goal in mind: "Let my knee let me go a little! ". That of the right leg still irritated him, in Rome (Italy), where he lost in the first round, mid-May. "It's getting better and better," said the tennis player. Not 100% but, for now, I do not worry too much. Good news when you take a look at the table waiting for you. Because the Parisian by birth wishes to discard any feeling of facility.
"Taro Daniel (Editor's note: his opponent of the first round) is a good land player, he still beat Djokovic (Editor's note: in March 2018), recalls Monfils. Potentially, I can play a Frenchman in the second round, which is never easy Roland. And my first seed remains Verdasco, which is recovering very well and against whom I lost the last games. "
Gael Monfils again refuses to put the cart before the horse. Just as he sweeps the possible pressure related to his status. "I feel like it's the first time in my life that I'm number one French," he smiles. The only moment, finally, where Monfils anticipates a little the scenario of the tournament 2019 is when he evokes the favorites: Nadal, first, then Djokovic, second. But if it was him, the surprise?