Friday, September 2, 2011
Gael Monfils, France
|Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain|
In a match lasting four hours and 48 minutes, the 31-year-old Ferrero upset Monfils’ 25th birthday celebrations as he reaped the rewards of a more solid display, reining his unforced errors in at 52 while Monfils committed 81, and withstanding 81 winners from the athletic Frenchman
“He is very difficult because he is everywhere,” Ferrero said of Monfils. “He slides over there, he is at the net over there. It is very tough to win a point against him.”
Monfils may not have prevailed in his five-set tussle with Juan Carlos Ferrero on Thursday, but the Frenchman certainly left his mark on the court, in more ways than one, as he displayed all his athletic prowess. The Parisian ignored the fact he was playing on a hard court and readily threw himself into every point, quite literally.
When asked about his willingness to dive on a hard court, Monfils admitted, “I think some things just switch off in my mind. I just see the ball and I'm like, ‘Well, you have to do it’, and then I dive. Every time you're like, ‘Oh, no’. I know the dive is so good for two seconds. Then you're like, ‘Oh, @!#%’, it’s still hard.
“It's really tough because I know all the people think I'm like elastic. I'm diving. If I stay a little bit longer on the floor, they're like, ‘He's acting’. I'm not like X Man. For 30 seconds I hurt. But maybe something is missing upstairs because I go back to do it again. I think I'm kind of blessed because I never really hurt myself. So I think I'm gifted with that.”
The crowd, appreciative of the outstanding play throughout the match, gave the players a standing ovation when it ended.
“It was like very lovely,” Monfils said. “It was a good feeling. Even though I lost the match, it was a good feeling.”