Monfils, the emotional elevator
He is the final Frenchman to have set foot on London’s O2 Arena in 2016. And if this season had gone with out a hitch, would not there have been his place? There is nothing absurd about the speculation, as its start-up had met expectations. Logically crushed by Dominic Thiem in the spherical of 16 in Melbourne, Gaël Monfils had rebounded in February and in what approach: two titles in fast succession in Montpellier and Rotterdam – he had by no means been topped greater than as soon as in a season -, a Homeric semi-final in Dubai the place he had believed to carry down Novak Djokovic for the first time in his profession (3 match factors obtained) and a provisional third place in the Race (rating since January 1). What to method the relaxation with an unprecedented confidence for him.
The Blues confess: “It pisses us off that we are called the Four Musketeers”
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Yes however right here it’s, the coronavirus has been there. And “La Monf ‘” noticed its momentum reduce off. The Race abolished, he misplaced the lead he had taken over his rivals for London. And if the reform of the ATP rating allowed him to disregard the American tour with out dropping factors when the circuit resumed in August, he has by no means been capable of restart the machine. Winner of 16 of his first 19 matches in 2020, he has not had the slightest success in 4 makes an attempt (Rome, Hamburg, Roland Garros and Vienna). Passed from dream to nightmare in the house of six months, he most well-liked to cease the prices earlier than Bercy, searching for no excuse, besides the statement of his incapacity to tame the new taking part in situations (well being bubble, lowered public or closed door ). Still eleventh in the world, nonetheless, he hopes to get off on the proper foot in 2021.
Di Pasquale on Monfils: “I think the confinement really shot him”
Humbert has taken a step ahead …
It is arguably the greatest blue since tennis regained its rights this summer time. In the ambient gloom, Ugo Humbert introduced a treasured ray of sunshine. His final match of the year was the dazzling demonstration of this: in a Rolex Paris Masters very unhappy as a result of disadvantaged of spectators, he was captivated with his offensive selections and a side that was little recognized to him, that of the warrior with outstanding chilly blood. in knife duels, coming near a primary semi-final in Masters 1000. Strong head, he hung many names on his searching roster, Daniil Medvedev in Hamburg and Stéfanos Tsitsipas in Bercy can attest to this.
2020 is all the extra a milestone for him as this season, though reduce in half, may have been that of his first title on the ATP circuit in Auckland for his first match (after the Bendigo Challenger) . Le Messin even doubled the stake at the finish of the year in Antwerp. Between this fanfare begin and this conclusion on the hats, he confirmed unprecedented consistency on the French facet. Semifinalist additionally at Delray Beach, he was particularly famous for his astonishing progress on clay in Rome and Hamburg. Homogeneous outcomes which might have earned him a spot in the Top 20 for the Race if it had been maintained. It was in the Grand Slam that he however sinned (launched in the 1st spherical in Melbourne and Roland, in the 2nd in Flushing), but when he progresses bodily in the offseason as he anticipated, the prospects will probably be attention-grabbing. in 2021.
Escudé: “Humbert will attack the 2021 season with all the lights on green”
… Mannarino and Moutet keep theirs
Other lefties have executed French tennis good. If he didn’t know the progress of a Humbert, Corentin Moutet began 2020 on the momentum of his nice breakthrough of 2019. In Doha, he thus provided his first last on the circuit by popping out of qualifying: Milos Raonic, Fernando Verdasco or Stan Wawrinka had then fallen under his blows. The reduce didn’t appear to disturb him greater than that since he may boast of having reached the third spherical at the US Open, greatest lead to the Grand Slam matched. But he didn’t actually recuperate from his misplaced marathon in opposition to the modest Lorenzo Giustino in the 1st spherical of Roland-Garros (2nd longest match in the historical past of the match in 6:05 hours of play) and noticed his Rolex Paris Masters spoiled. with a optimistic coronavirus take a look at.
With Moutet, Adrian Mannarino had saved the honor of the tricolor clan in Flushing Meadows, solely crushed by the future finalist of this US Open behind closed doorways, Alexander Zverev. The German may have blocked him two different occasions at the finish of the season: in the quarter-finals in Cologne and in eighth in Bercy. Each time, he however put the world quantity 7 in problem, a lot in order that the individual involved paid him an sudden tribute after his last misplaced at the Accor Arena. If he had missed his begin to the season, Manna has dealt with the new context significantly better than many of his compatriots, his tenth profession last in Kazakhstan proved it. In competition in Sofia, he’s nonetheless preventing for a seeded place in Melbourne in January.
6:05 am preventing and defeat at the finish: For Moutet, the marathon changed into a nightmare
The Gaston revelation
He is the unlikely tricolor hero of the year. “Hero”, the time period is emphatic, however on function. Ugo Gaston shone, for the common public, just for the house of a match, nevertheless it was the good one: at Roland-Garros the place many eyes, even generally international to the world of tennis, are mounted on the Porte d ‘Auteuil. He was the nice animator of a 2020 version postponed to the fall which had however virtually changed into a fiasco for the French. In the Open period, there had at all times been at the least one Blue in the third spherical of the males’s singles, and it was he, then 239th in the world and invited by the group, who prolonged at the least yet one more year this statistical reality.
In moist, heavy and sluggish situations on Parisian clay, he amazed at the selection of his tennis and the breadth of his tactical choices. His tennis, all in adjustments of tempo, his mastery of the cushioning and his contact of the ball made Stan Wawrinka then Dominic Thiem mad. Winner of the first in 5 units and crushed by the second over the identical distance in the spherical of 16, Gaston’s Parisian course had one thing in it of the biblical delusion of David in opposition to Goliath. At the age of 20, he all of the sudden took the mild and breathed a breath of freshness. Now the hardest half is coming for him: returning to the Challengers and confirming to succeed in the Top 100, his subsequent objective. And thus enter immediately into the Grand Slam tables.
Gaston’s subsequent targets? “The top 100 and win… a Challenger”
Pair, misplaced in translation
In 2019, Benoît Paire had returned to his greatest stage, profitable the 2nd and third titles of his profession in Marrakech and Lyon on clay. Finalist in Auckland in early January, he appeared to method 2020 in the identical approach. A irritating defeat after 5 units in the second spherical of the Australian Open in opposition to Marin Cilic adopted. And then… nothing. Or virtually. Like a Monfils, the Avignon resident acquired misplaced after confinement. In his protection, there isn’t any lack of mitigating circumstances. Positive for the coronavirus in Flushing Meadows, the administration of his case and his contacts has been inconsistent to say the least. Cloistered in his resort room, disadvantaged of coaching, there’s a compromise on a doable return to type.
And his troubles continued in Germany in Hamburg the place a second optimistic take a look at (most likely resulting from residues of the virus in his physique) compelled him to a brand new quarantine. Psychologically worn out, affected by the digital absence of an viewers when he was capable of be on the courtroom, Paire solely had an phantasm throughout the first spherical of Roland Garros which he received. There stays the reminiscence of his well-known aperitifs organized by videoconference on Instagram together with his pal Stan Wawrinka throughout confinement (the “Stanpairo”). Moments of conviviality throughout which the two mates had snort but in addition spoke tennis with out language. Comforting periods that followers of the little yellow ball, disadvantaged of their ardour, won’t neglect. A nook of blue sky in a really gloomy season. We won’t change Benoît Paire, for the worse, but in addition for the higher.
Cornet: “Pair made my heart ache, we can see that he has not recovered from his story”
Simon, Gasquet and Herbert lacked rhythm
The technology of “new Musketeers” (as they hate to be known as) is inevitably drawing nearer to the finish. If Gaël Monfils is resisting, nonetheless flirting with the Top 10, for Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet, the emotions are much less good. With 10 victories for 11 defeats, the native of Nice thus lived a 2020 monetary year with out a lot reduction, with the exception of a semi-final in Montpellier. At virtually 36 years outdated, his qualities as a marathon runner are failing him extra and extra, even when this fall, he did good issues indoors, particularly in Cologne the place he beat Denis Shapovalov earlier than falling with the honors in opposition to Jannik Sinner.
For the Biterrois, the season was much more difficult. Already as a result of he couldn’t begin it earlier than the month of February in Montpellier and he was rapidly stopped by the suspension of the circuit resulting from the coronavirus. Then, as a result of the bodily glitches repeatedly prevented him from chaining matches on the restart. He didn’t play for instance between the US Open (2nd spherical) and Roland Garros (1st spherical). Gasquet has not misplaced his tennis, his begins to matches are sometimes hard-hitting, however he has extra and extra problem maintaining the distance as he himself lately admitted with a sure sense of the ‘self-derision throughout a gathering together with his cronies on the Monfils Twitch channel (“In an hour I am unbeatable“).
Simon and Gasquet have additionally pushed their season till this week in Sofia to hunt confidence and extra matches. Herbert, for his half, stopped the expenses. The Alsatian had moderately honorably began his season with two quarter-finals in Doha and Montpellier the place he had notably dominated Félix Auger-Aliassime. The relaxation was tougher on the sporting stage, as a result of it was humanly wealthy. Having grow to be a father in September, he had skipped the American tour pending the occasion. He didn’t go removed from the feat in opposition to Alexander Zverev in Roland’s second spherical, earlier than colliding with Jannik Sinner in Cologne and Milos Raonic in Bercy. Nothing frankly disappointing, however no efficiency to face out both.
Simon: “If you limit tennis to Federer, you are missing out on a lot”
On the flank, Tsonga and Pouille rapidly turned the web page 2020
Finally, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille won’t have nice reminiscences of this extremely disturbed season. Le Manceau might solely line up for 2 tournaments at the begin of the year in Doha and the Australian Open for… two defeats respectively in opposition to Miomir Kecmanovic and Alexei Popyrin. In Melbourne, he even needed to throw in the towel after three units (when he had received the first), as soon as once more betrayed by his physique. Bone edema in the pelvis lastly satisfied him to finish his season in September. If at 35, Tsonga nonetheless refuses to speak about retirement, the indicators usually are not very optimistic for the future. But he assures that he has not misplaced the want and hope to grow to be environment friendly once more in 2021.
Pouille is youthful (26 years outdated). However, he was not spared both in 2020. It’s easy, the Northerner has not performed a single match on the ATP circuit, continuously hampered by his proper elbow. He hoped to have the ability to revive final March when he took over the racket on the Indian Wells Challenger, however the coronavirus prevented him from persevering with. Before the resumption of competitions, he examined himself in exhibition throughout Patrick Mouratoglou’s UTS and rapidly had to surrender.
Result: the operation, lengthy dominated out, turned crucial and compelled him to attract a line on the relaxation of the season. Soon a father too, he must be in Melbourne subsequent January, however it will likely be with out Amélie Mauresmo as a coach. Despite this spoiled year, Tsonga and Pouille haven’t fallen too far in the standings (61st and 69th respectively), protected by the latter’s reform. This is already taken.
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