Gael Monfils: Today he was a better player than me

Gael Monfils lost to Jannik Sinner this year Sofia Open final 3:6, 4:6. The Frenchman was competing in his first tour-level championship match since he triumphed in Rotterdam in February 2020. The World No. 20 has reached an ATP Tour final for 17 straight seasons.

A great tournament for you. Did you see some improvement in Sinner’s game?

I think Jannik again today was very solid. He didn’t make a lot of mistakes. He was very solid with his shot. For sure, he went to do good ones, less a crazy one. That put a little pressure on me. I could not really be aggressive because I was very deep. Simple, he was just better than me today. In all compartment better than me today. He played the break point (in the first set) brilliantly. He showed his class again today. He just today was a better player than me.

Did he surprise you today with something?

I think he played well. He was not missing so much. I couldn’t be very aggressive. When I had opportunities, I didn’t release big shots. He didn’t miss big shots. I told you all week – he is a top 10 player. Maybe in the ranking, he is 11, I don’t know, but definitely, he is Top 10 player and even more.

Are you going to Indian Wells, and do you feel confident there?

Yeah, I am flying to Indian Wells tomorrow. I will keep working. Everyone knows – every tournament is different. Hopefully, I will have a great chance to start Indian Wells in different conditions.

Gael, you played semis here the first time you participated; the second reached the final. What about – the third time – lucky?

Yeah, hopefully. If life is working like that, I will be more than happy. It was all the time too different experience. This time it was different with no crowd. But it was a good experience, no matter what. With the people, with the organisation. Two-time great experience. If it is sort on to come to win with the crowd – it will be the best experience.

You have a remarkable record – you played in an ATP single Final for a seventeenth consecutive year. How would you describe this achievement?

It means that I have been playing for a long time. This is the one. And, yeah, it means that once every year, I can reach the final. It senses strange. I am proud of it and hopefully, I can have many more years.