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The 5 best moments of Gael Monfils!

Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils pumped up during a game
 

When one thinks about trick shots, athletic returns & audacious attempts, the image of the Frenchman currently ranked 12th in the world is certain to hit you. For Gael Monfils is one of, if not the, most entertaining players on the tour.

Monfils is predictably unpredictable and thrills his fans with wacky shots and ‘out-of-his-head’ manoeuvres. Though he has not progressed past a semifinal in a Grand Slam, Monfils often draws huge crowds who know for certain they might see something extraordinary.

Monfils also has contagious enthusiasm and passion for the game. As for his ability to hit scarcely believable shots, he puts it down his superior athletic ability gained by playing various other sports during his youth.

Recently he made headlines when he broke a match clock during his first round game in the ongoing US Open. Hardly, surprising!

Let's take a look at some of the weirdest shots Monfils has pulled off in his career.


#5 Gael’s ‘indifferent’ point

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(Video Courtesy: ATP Youtube Channel)

The stage was the Masters 1000 event at Monte Carlo and Monfils was playing Alexander Dolgopolov in the 2nd round. Having won the 1st set, Monfils was cruising and decided to bring his flashy game to the fore.

Monfils mishit a drop shot, allowing Dolgopolov to advance to the net with only a routine forehand winner required to seal the point. As the Ukrainian shaped up for the winner, Monfils turned his back on him and walked away as though he gave up.

A surprised Dolgopolov gave away the direction of his shot early, allowing the sneaky Monfils to suddenly race across and hit a pass. ‘I’m sneaky, you know’, he said after the match.

#4 The double ‘Monfils’ dive

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(Video Courtesy: Roland Garros Youtube)

The full-length dive is a manoeuvre for which Monfils should get a patent. For no other tennis player can pull it off with the authenticity that he shows. In 2010, he pulled off a stunning double dive at the net against Philipp Kohlschreiber which ‘almost’ won him a stunning point.

France were playing Germany in the Davis Cup and Monfils was already a set up. At the start of the 2nd set, he stunned the crowd and his teammates Richard Gasquet and Julian Benneteau during a point when he advanced to the net. Kohlschreiber reacted by hitting a pass down the line.

Never one to let a ball go, he leapt sideways to make contact. The ball lobbed to the other side of the court and the German's backhand was going down the line at the other end of the court.

But Monfils put in an almighty dive, that cricketers would have been proud of, to meet the ball. Unfortunately, it landed out.

#3 Smashes are for ordinary players

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(Video Courtesy: TVTennisHighlights Youtube)

Hit a ‘mundane’ smash? Not for Gael Monfils.

So he demonstrated against Tommy Haas in Halle 2013 when the German’s weak backhand lobbed high up in the air for Monfils to smash the pants off it!! Even Haas had given up the point and was just watching where the Frenchman would hit it. But to everyone’s surprise, Monfils let it bounce between his legs before turning around to hit an overhead 180-degree smash. While it evoked gasps from the crowd, Haas managed to retrieve it and won the point.

Well, Monfils wouldn’t have cared about not winning the point at all.

#2 Monfils destroys a clock

Gael Monfils
Monfils destroys the clock after colliding with it

Like it was mentioned earlier, Monfils took a special liking to the match clock during his first round match at the ongoing US Open and saw it as a landing pad rather than as a time-keeping device. His opponent was Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and again the Frenchman was cruising to a win.

When a smash from Muller went high over Monfils, the Frenchman displayed his athleticism and jumped high to meet the ball but ran out of court space, forcing him to land on the match clock.

The end result? The device came crashing down and narrowly missed Monfils’ leg. But it broke into smithereens but thankfully Monfils was unharmed.

#1 The sensational dive at Australian Open

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(Video Courtesy: Australian Open TV Youtube)

One of the lasting images fans will have of the mercurial and entertaining Frenchman is his stunning, full-length dive to retrieve a ball in his Round 4 match against Andrey Kuznetsov in the 2016 Australian Open.

The snap of an airborne Monfils with an outstretched racquet trying to get to a wide forehand which he had no right to attempt was one of the moments of the tournament. He did not make the shot though.

But the sheer ridiculousness of the attempt endeared Monfils to the fans. When asked about his attempt, he said, “People need to understand that if I dive, it's because I know I can dive. It's instinct. I’m a competitor so when I need to, I fly.”

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Edited by Staff Editor
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