Gael Monfils offers worrying update ahead of Rafael Nadal clash in Madrid
Gael Monfils offered a concerning update on his fitness ahead of his clash with Rafael Nadal and confessed the Spaniard will win very easy if he gets dragged into a long match.
The French ace hurt his achilles towards the end of his battle with Nikoloz Basilashvili on Monday night, which added to his recent physical woes.
While Monfils is hopeful he will be able to take to court against the world No. 1 – who is on a 19-match winning streak – he suggested that it might be quite a one-sided affair, although he still clings onto the hope that he can spring a shot.
I think I turned a little bit my achilles but I will see, he said after his 6-2 3-6 6-3 win over the Georgian. I just walked back off the court. I hope it will be fine.
Its a good one again, you know. Its always tough to play Rafa on a clay court. Especially this year, he hasnt lost a set on clay court so it will be a big challenge on Wednesday.
Im not in my best shape so thats a shame a little bit. I just wish I can give a great match. When you step on the court you still have to believe you can win – thats the beauty of the sport, you know, even though Im not in my best shape but I like to know that next to my name is “you never know”, so you never know.
Monfils insists he will have to play a very aggressive game to have a shot against the King of Clay and hes desperate to not be drawn into a long match.
But he suggested that the task may be close to impossible.
For sure, I will try to be aggressive, he added. Every time you want to be aggressive against Rafa but its not easy to be aggressive against him.
His ball, the way hes moving you on the court… Definitely, my mindset will be to try to be on top of him but it will never happen, I know it.
It will be more of a battle from the baseline. For sure, I can hold a few games like that because I think I have a few games in the tank but if I have a long match like that, he will win very easy. Im not yet in a great shape to battle with him.
Nadal, incredibly, has won his last 46 sets on clay and Monfils is hoping to motivate himself further with the opportunity to bring that run to a halt.
As I say, hes a legend, Monfils smiled. We are lucky to have two legends and obviously he is one of those two.
Its unbelievable what hes doing. I feel blessed to be able to play against those guys.
On Wednesday I will try to pull up and break this record – thats a good motivation too.