Monfils tearful over 'nightmare' slump after Australian Open exit

French crowd-pleaser says he had "zero confidence" following his five-set defeat to Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori


AFP February 09, 2021

MELBOURNE:

A tearful Gael Monfils said he was struggling to get out of a "nightmare" loss of form after his first-round exit at the Australian Open.

The French crowd-pleaser said he had "zero confidence" following his five-set defeat to Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori on Monday.

"I'm playing badly. I can't serve, I can't play the forehand, I'm making mistakes, I'm six metres behind (the line), I'm missing by miles. Why? I don't know," Monfils said.

"I'm trying to find the right tempo, the right rhythm, but I can't find my game. So it's complicated. Because I can't do what I want, I can't find my game."

The 34-year-old world number 11 hasn't won a match in nearly a year, despite a strong start to the Covid-hit 2020 season when he won two titles.

"I'm coming with zero, zero confidnce and I feel like I'm being judged all the time," Monfils said.

"The worst thing in all of this is that I'm trying really hard and I'm not getting anywhere. I'm training hard and it's not going away," he added.

"I'd really like to get out of this and tell you that the nightmare is over, but I'm right in the middle of it."

Monfils then welled up as he described how his mother was trying to help him snap out of his funk.

"She'll tell me, 'You have to keep training, and it will come back'," he said, holding back tears.

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