A third Olympic appearance is imminent for French virtuoso Gael Monfils. In 2008, at Beijing, Monfils made it to the quarterfinals before losing to Novak Djokovic, the third seed and eventual bronze medalist.
G. Monfils Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
When he was eliminated in the quarterfinals in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, history was repeated. Even though he had three match points in the deciding set against Kei Nishikori, he still lost and settled for bronze.
The Frenchman just got married in Switzerland to his longtime partner, WTA World No. 6 Elina Svitolina. After that, the couple took a trip to Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the hopes of bringing home a gold medal for their respective countries.
So far this year, Monfils’s tour schedule has not been particularly impressive. Even though he has been a top seed in every event he has entered this year, he has failed to get past the fourth round in any of them and has won only three of his matches.
He fell to lower-seeded opponents in the first round of the Australian Open, the second round of the French Open, and the third round of Wimbledon this year. At the start of the year, he was ranked No. 11 in the world; now, he’s down to No. 18.
The Olympics have always meant a lot to him, and he is confident he can do even better in Tokyo than he did in Beijing.
Gal Monfils Shares his Thoughts on the Significance of this Historic Tournament.
Since Monfils is placed tenth in Tokyo, he faces a formidable opponent in the form of Belarusian Ilya Ivashka in the opening round. The Frenchman spoke about his feelings toward the Olympics before even considering his first round.
The Olympics have always resonated with me because they represent the opportunity to achieve personal and national greatness. “For me, it’s incredibly powerful,” Monfils remarked. I remember telling Gilles Simon and Sébastien Grosjean way back when that I wanted to play in the Olympics. This is a shared choice made at the outset.
You may miss some of the games, but the cultural exchange makes up for it. We pick up a tonne of new information,” he continued.
I’ve always considered the Olympics a major event in my life, and I’m honoured to have the chance to represent my country, Ukraine, at these games. Whenever we have an Olympic year, I make it a point to get in the best shape possible in anticipation. Participating in a national team event is a tremendous honour for me.
It makes no difference whether the event is the Billie Jean King Cup or the Olympics. There’s always that one thing more, and with that comes the motivation to push yourself and play at a higher level. An Olympic medal is the ultimate prize for me. His wife, Elina Svitolina, promised, “I’ll try my best to prepare well and be ready for that.”