Gael Monfils has admitted in an explicit interview that he was severely agitated at the time taken by Rafael Nadal during his service games in yesterday’s match-up.
“What p*ssed me off was that the referee was looking at me as I said, ‘Look at him!’ It annoyed me,” Monfils said.
“He is fast when he leads, but from time to time he takes too much time.”
Nadal has been in mercurial form as of late, and is yet to drop a set since the start of his clay court campaign.
Nadal will meet Argentine Diego Swartzman in the last-16 after his 6-3, 6-1 demolition of Monfils yesterday.
The 31-year old Frenchman believes his conqueror is beatable should he come across an in-form opponent.
“He plays very well. Unplayable? Everyone is vulnerable necessarily once,” he added.
“But today he was stronger than me. It’s up to us, to continue to progress and to believe that we can beat him. I’m recovering gradually now. This is my second week on clay and I found it hard from a physical stand-point."
Nadal may be playing the best tennis of his career-to-date. His knee seems to be holding up well and his ground strokes and speed around the court appear to be far too much for any of his challengers to handle.
Rafa, undeniably, has a majestic-like aura when he is on a clay court, and it is evident that the Spaniard is determined to go unbeaten throughout the clay season which would also see him win his 11th French Open title.
Monfils has had some success throughout his career on clay, reaching the Roland Garros semi-final back in 2008 (where he lost to Roger Federer), and also reaching the final of the 2016 Monte Carlo Masters (where he lost to Nadal in straight sets once again).
The Frenchman is now in his 30’s, and many tennis fans believe that he is past his prime, but he will look to prove his doubters wrong by putting together a solid campaign and pushing through to the latter stages of Roland Garros.