Ahead of the crunch semi-final clash against Djokovic on Friday, Gael Monfils feels the Serbian is one of the best players of the current generation but not the greatest ever. Monfils, who hasn’t defeated Djokovic in his career, was asked about the epic match he played against the World No.1 at US Open 2005.
He recalled and said, “I mean, I remember, yeah, that was a tricky match actually. With the roof will be different because it was taking a long time and I lost this one 7-5 in the fifth. It was a long time ago I think now. Novak is the best player ever, and that time he wasn't. So I think it was just a good memory.
The journalist countered and asked the Frenchman whether he thinks Djokovic is the greatest player ever, considering his current form, Monfils replied, “He is. Yeah, he is. I mean, so far - when I say "ever," not yet, because it's still Roger. But so far what he's doing is amazing. He's better player than me, definitely. I think I have no shame to say it. He is better than me. You can be the best, but one match is enough, you know. If I face him, I will take the one match as enough.”
Monfils has lost all 12 of his previous meetings against Djokovic, however, he looks more relaxed and focused this time as he attempts to reach his first Grandslam final. “I have a second opportunity to get to my first slam final, and the opportunity to maybe beat him for the first time on the main tour, to beat the world No. 1. That's it” he said
Monfils has been in scintillating form prior to the US Open and has taken his good form to the tournament.
He showed his consistency in the hardcourt build-up to the US Open with a title in Washington and semi-final appearance at Toronto in July. Moreover, he is yet to lose a set at Flushing Meadows and Djokovic is well aware of the threat that Monfils poses on Friday.
“He seems more focused at this time of his career. Especially on the hard court this year maybe he's playing the best tennis he ever played. He's very consistent. He hasn't dropped a set till semis. That says a lot about the level he's on”. said, Djokovic.