Opponent hails Gael Monfils as ‘true legend and inspiration’ following injury scare
Thiago Monteiro gave praise to Gael Monfils after the world number 19 saw run of form in Adelaide come to an end at the hands of an injury.
The exuberant Monfils rolled back the years to claim his 11th career title last week as he overcame Karen Khachanov in the final of the ATP 250 Adelaide International 1.
But after the French talent went into the Adelaide International 2 as the top seed, he was unfortunate to be ousted not by his opponent but by a neck injury.
After splitting the first two sets 7-6 (7-2), 3-6 with Brazilian Monteiro, Monfils retired from the contest down 1-0 in the decider.
The injury casts doubt on whether the 35-year-old will compete at his 17th Australian Open, his 14th consecutively.
“Always a pleasure do share the court with Gael Monfils, true legend and inspiration,” Monteiro tweeted following the match.
“Wishing a fast recovery and see you in Melbourne.”
Monfils responded in kind with a prayer emoji in acknowledgment of the respect shown by Monteiro.
— Gael Monfils (@Gael_Monfils) January 12, 2022
While all those on tour have struggled during the pandemic with difficult conditions and travel restrictions, the showman nature of Monfils took a particular hit due to empty arenas and lack of fan interaction.
That gift was returned to Monfils during his run in the first Adelaide event as he showed off his antics on the hard courts there.
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