ATP Tour

Showman Monfils confident

2014-12-01 07:53
Gael Monfils (AP)

Manila - Gael Monfils said on Sunday he was confident of playing strongly in the tour next year after beating Roger Federer at the Davis Cup and winning three times at a fast-paced tennis tournament in the Philippines.

Monfils defeated world number two Federer, despite France eventually losing its Davis Cup title bid against Switzerland last week.

The Frenchman then rushed to Manila to beat world number six Andy Murray and Australian Lleyton Hewitt at the inaugural International Premier Tennis League tournament.

"I expect that I can play good matches like these. I have good wins and so I expect that would give me more motivation to be ready for 2015," he told reporters as the Manila leg of the IPTL tour ended Sunday.

"Even with the jet lag here I am still strong and I can feel that I can play tough. I can tell, and you can see, I'll be tough to beat in 2015."

The crowd favourite Monfils, the world number 18, clowned his way to dispatching Hewitt and on Friday and Murray on Saturday in one-set matches at the IPTL event in Manila.

World number nine Marin Cilic retired on Sunday while trailing Monfils 1-2, and the 28-year-old Frenchman completed the job against substitute Malek Jaziri, 6-3.

"I love this format," Monfils said of the team-oriented event, which he said evoked the atmosphere of a Davis Cup tie.

IPTL ties consist of five one-set matches with no advantages.

The first to six games wins and a 5-5 tie is broken by a five-minute shootout.

Players must serve within 20 seconds or lose the point, while receiving players can call one "happiness power point" per set that counts as double.

Monfils won the crowd's support with hip-hop dances to celebrate winning points, basketball-style, no-look drop shots, and goalkeeper-worthy dives to retrieve seemingly lost causes.

"I think it's genetic," Monfils, the son of a former football player from Guadeloupe and a nurse from Martinique, told reporters when asked where he learned the moves.

"I play tennis, soccer, basketball and dance hip-hop, so you know..." he added.

"We had fun out there."

Monfils, a former junior world number one, said he savoured his Davis Cup win over Federer, though it failed to prevent the Swiss champion eventually winning the tie, 3-1.

"I was very happy to get the point to bring back the team to the competition, but you know... there's not much to say," he added.

However, he said it was "a bit too far" to be thinking about meeting Federer in the final of a Grand Slam tournament next year.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  gael monfils  |  tennis
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