MUNICH, May 4, 2017
Siedelined since March 15, Gael Monfils returns to the ATP World Tour at the BMW Open by FWU on Thursday. The top seed of the ATP 250 event will step into action for his first clay court tournament since the ATP Masters in Rome in May last year.
“I am happy to be back on the tour and happy to be back in Munich. It has been three years in a row that I wasn’t able to compete here. I have enjoyed some good practice here over the last couple of days and I think that everything will be fine. The weather is also better than last year,” Monfils told with a smile and talked about his preparation for the start of the clay court season.
“A worked on my movement on court. That was the most important thing in order to come back.” Monfils withdrew from the ATP Masters 1000 events at Miami and Monte-Carlo due to left knee and Achilles tendon injuries.
“The goal is now to get ready for Paris. There are still six weeks on the road to Roland Garros. I am pushing a lot to get prepared on time. So the last couple of days were a bit tough.
Monfils added that clinching the French Open title is still his dream. “On the one hand, the pressure of competing in Paris has become less over the years, as I know how to handle it now. On the other hand, it has also become more, as I am getting older and there is not that much time left to lift the trophy.”
The 30-year-old Frenchman is only one win away becoming the 17th active player with 400 victories. “I didn’t know that,” Monfils said during his press conference. “But now I hope that I am going to achieve it here tomorrow.”
Monfils will take on ATP NextGen star Hyeon Chung in his opening match. The 20-year-old from Korea saved four set points in his first set tie-break before beating German wild card Maximilian Marterer in his first round match on Tuesday.
“He is a good striker,” Monfils told about his opponent. The pair will meet for the first time. “Both sides are very strong. He hits a lot of flat shots, has strong legs and moves well on the court. He played a great match against Rafa in Barcelona. I expect a really tough opener.”