Gael Monfils

‘Surprisingly good in big moments’ – Gael Monfils ends eight-match losing streak with Lyon win

World No. 14 Gael Monfils won his first match in 15 months by beating Thiago Seyboth Wild in the first round of the Lyon Open ATP 250.

The 34-year-old won 7-5, 6-4 against the Brazilian lucky loser, who took Lloyd Harris’ place in the draw following the South African’s withdrawal.

The Frenchman had lost eight consecutive matches since beating Richard Gasquet in the Dubai quarter-finals in February last year – before the COVID-enforced ATP tour suspension.

The victory against Gasquet was Monfils’ 12th consecutive win – a run in which he lost just one set in securing the Montpellier and Rotterdam titles, and reaching the Dubai semi-finals.

“This morning, I just found out that Lloyd unfortunately just pulled out. So, I was preparing my match against another player,” Monfils said in an on-court interview.

“Thiago is a young player, Next Gen, very good. I know that he loves playing on clay courts. I tried to work my confidence.

“Very surprisingly, (I was) very good in the important moments. Serving good, hitting big shots. So I’m very happy with that today.

“It’s gonna be a tough one (against Yoshihito Nishioka), I feel like he played a great match yesterday to beat Ugo Humbert. I find him very solid, running very fast over the court.”

The former world No. 6 will face Nishioka in the second round in Lyon on Wednesday.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.