Along with Angelique Kerber in the women’s draw, French star Gael Monfils became the highest-profile casualty on Day 1 of the Australian Open, shocked by Emil Ruusuvouri.
The World No. 10 fell in five gruelling sets to his unseeded Finnish rival 3-6 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-3 in a devastating new low to his concerning form slump.
Monfils is yet to win a match since tennis returned from its pandemic-forced suspension.
An emotional Monfils broke down in tears during his post-match press conference when trying to explain his struggles to re-gain his top form.
“I would like to get out of this nightmare but I can’t,” he said. “I do not feel well.”
Monfils struggled to find the words as he fought back tears, adding he needs to keep training to fight his way out of his hole.
“I will tell a simple phrase from my mum. She will tell me, ‘Keep training and it will come back’. That’s the only thing,” he said.
Tennis writer Ben Rothenberg tweeted suggested two weeks in quarantine had taken their toll n Monfils, and he won’t be the only player whose emotions will spill over this tournament.
“I don’t think Monfils will be the last player we see more emotional than usual at #AusOpen after holing up for 14 days to play a tournament,” Rothenberg tweeted.
“Everything would just feel magnified with that much time waiting, and half of them are going to be eliminated in these first 48 hours.”
Gael Monfils, who lost in 5 to Ruusuvuori: "I would like to get out of this nightmare but I can't."
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