By Editorial Team
Gael Monfils is ramping up his play after losing a close match against American Taylor Fritz at the Australian Open. Fresh off a semifinal loss in the Sofia Open against Daniil Medvedev, Gael hopes that he can pull himself together mentally to face one of his toughest opponents, David Goffin.
Steady baseliners have given Gael trouble late in tournaments as physical fitness becomes a major factor. In every instance lately (as in the 2018 US Open) he has fallen victim to David knowing that a tough road of long rallies and big momentum shifts were headed his way.
Gael will benefit from a high first serve percentage and his ability to go power against a smaller opponent, but with the quickness of David, Gael must also be willing to stay in the points a few strokes longer than usual. Transition to the net is also a plus for Gael if he can take advantage of any short neutral balls that may come his way.
In reference to Gael’s service game recently at the Sofia Open, Gael stated,
“I think I improved it a little bit. I had a better percentage. I found my rhythm better. I didn’t make so many double faults. I am doing a lot of double faults because it is indoors. I feel confident with my serve. So I try to use my second serve. Definitely, I want it to be even better at the quarter-final because I can serve a bit better. And when I say better I mean with more consistency. Maybe not doing so many aces, but more consistent.”
Mentally Gael is very vulnerable to big momentum shifts in a match. Staying focus on strategy is a major challenge for Gael especially if the score drifts in either direction. Gael is the better athlete and overall player, but the game within the game seems to have prevented Gael from moving past the gritty Goffin.
On Tuesday February 12th Gael will be able to test his new training methods and coaching against the well prepared and confident David Goffin at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Fans hope for a complete match from Gael where he is able to give 100% effort while playing to win the match.
2021 Calabasas Championships
Battle of the ages: Venus vs. CoCo
By Editorial Team
In addition to becoming the youngest player to enter the main draw of Wimbledon via qualifying, Cori “CoCo” Gauff has earned a prim-time match-up against one of the greatest grass court players of all time in the first round of play.
This match is not only a first, but also a sharp contrast of current generation talent versus veteran grand slam champion. Venus just turned 39 this month and must now face the 15 year old dynamo that goes by CoCo making this a true battle of the ages. Ironically, as in a Hollywood movie, these two are respectively the oldest and youngest players in the tournament.
Venus can sure respect Cori’s hustle in advancing her career at the ripe age of 15. Venus shares a similar start, but was able to win 5 Wimbledon titles with the last win in 2008.
Coming off of a great 2017 season, Venus (unseeded this year) has struggled lately with injuries and fatigue late in matches. This year has not rolled out favorably for Venus after several on-off coaching relationships and hitting partners. Taking on a more independent role of seasoned veteran, Venus is going at it alone on tour. She has a strong management team in place, but they appear to be more assistants than highly experienced coaches giving her instruction.
In contrast, Cori has a tight-knit team around her not to mention her father as head coach. There have been several assistants offering advice, but Corey remains the largest influence on Cori’s progress.
Progress is exactly what they have made – and in short record time. Just last year Cori was making her way toward the Roehamption Championship title as the world’s number one ranked junior. It seems as if Cori has a trusting relationship with her Dad and is able to take constructive criticism in stride. Hard work has been Cori’s mantra since the beginning of her junior career, and that hard work and preparation has landed her here at Wimbledon with a main draw match against Venus Williams.
The odds heavily favor Venus, but nothing is out of the question for Cori. Given the fact that she has played each qualifying round with a “nothing to lose” attitude, it can only be assumed that she will continue to do the same in her first round match.
The big stage is also a factor as Cori has not played on such a large WTA Tour center court yet in her career. This will definitely be a learning experience for Cori. It may be a little ambitious to expect Cori to figure out the atmosphere and surroundings all within a 2 out of 3 match. Cori is undefeated at Roehamption (ITF Juniors and WTA Qualifying), but it remains to be seen if she can muster a win against a declining, but a still very capable Venus Williams on her favorite surface.
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