Dubai: The mercurial Gael Monfils will be going the extra mile to ensure he can complete a hat-trick of titles on Tour at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open.
After falling in straight sets against runner-up Dominic Thiem in their fourth round match of the Australian Open, the Frenchman has been on a winning streak with back-to-back titles at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier followed by the ABN Amro crown in Rotterdam last week. In both finals, the 33-year-old has been in sublime form — beating Vasek Pospisil in France and defeating Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime a week later.
“I feel good. The conditions are definitely a bit different because we are now back on the outdoor courts. It’s a bit faster and the ball flying a bit more. I just have to make some adjustments,” Monfils told media on Sunday.
“If I can win tomorrow first and that would be the first goal, then I can [look at the third title],” he added.
Of late, Monfils has been one of the standouts in the men’s game due to his consistency. “To be honest, I don’t even think about it. I try just to be every day working hard, trying to be a better player. I try, exactly what I say, try to have some goals and try to be next to them or reach them. That’s the most important thing I think,” Monfils said.
“Win or not, I give my best and enjoy it and see in the big moments how I react,” he added.
Monfils will be on centre court on Monday for his first-round match against Marton Fucsovics. “If I can pull out a great match and beat him, then I will be happy,” Monfils smiled.
“I think he is a great player. He is definitely a player who we played last year and it was really tough to beat him. I feel he is very solid. He had a great Australian Open this year. I saw him play in Rotterdam against Roberto Bautista Agut, and that too was a solid performance from him. He was a bit unlucky,” he recalled.
“I expect a tough one. Actually I can go back home faster [if he loses],” Monfils joked.
“My chances here are the same as everybody else in the field. I think we can all do the damage. I can win, hopefully, and then for the season, the aim will be definitely to try and stay in the top-10. Why not reach a spot that I’ve never reached before?,” he wondered.