We haven’t seen Gaël Monfils in the ring since February 3 and a tough first-round defeat in Montpellier against Mikael Ymir (6-1, 6-2). Thus, the return of the first Frenchman, falling in the rankings to 28th place in the world, was necessarily the subject of little watch and expectation.
On arrival, Monfils put in a good performance against Filip Krajinovic (40th in the world), winning two rather clean sets. Admittedly, the blindfolded Serbian is not the strongest player on the planet and certainly not the one to make the French fear the worst, who now puts the index at 4 wins to 0 defeats and only one set conceded in their confrontations.
After a few adjustment points early in the match and in particular a break point disqualified at 1-1, after two double faults and a massive forehand foul, Monfils kept the Serbian quietly in sight. He initially broke at 2-1 on a poor serve match from Krajinovic, then faced him with ease and finished the first season 6-3.
Powerful confrontation with 13 aces
Despite some constant fluctuations in height and a bolder Krajinovic in the second set, Monfils remained aggressive in the match, especially against the second serve. Under the scorching sun, even fire a few hands-free shots, like this non-crossing forehand win while backing, or even more subtle, this one-handed pass, arm outstretched!
If he allowed two break points at 2-2, the man with eleven titles, winner of Adelaide 1 and a quarter-finalist in Melbourne at the start of the year, didn’t miss his chance at 3-3 and stole the showdown from the Serbian on a long streak with a backhand and pass in The end of the race and an unintended foul follows the Serb. He just had to wrap it all up with a lead confrontation, including 13 aces and 26 of 30 points behind his first serve!
After such a successful start comes the hardest part for Monfils as the Frenchman will challenge the new world number one, Daniil Medvedev, in the third round. The two men have not met since 2019 and both have been successful.
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