By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday September 23, 2023
After a bit of unwelcome drama on Friday night at Laver Cup, Gael Monfils has taken to social media to explain his feelings about his bizarre, heated exchange with Felix Auger-Aliassime.
First, a bit of backstory.
Monfils and Auger-Aliassime were on completely different pages regarding the tone of competition at Laver Cup. 37-year-old Monfils was angry with Auger-Aliassime who called him out for delay of game, because he was under the impression that Laver Cup was a competition to be played with more of an exhibition-like feel.
“They called me and told me ‘It’s so nice, you can be free,’’ Monfils told Team Europe vice-captain Tomas Enqvist on court during a changeover. “I don’t know… me I’m here to have fun,” he added.
Auger-Aliassime and his teammates were of a different mind.
“Laver Cup is a tournament that I think has the potential to be taken very seriously, not just now but also in the future, so we’re taking this seriously,” Auger-Aliassime said after the match.
Team World Vice Captain Patrick McEnroe spoke about the drama as well, saying: “I have never ever once thought that this is an exhibition, ever. I have never seen one player, and all the all-time greats have been in this competition, I have never seen one of them play like it was an exhibition for one point.”
Monfils didn’t do a press conference last night, but did feel it necessary to state his case.
“I am tired of these incessant and futile controversies,” he wrote in French. “Some people seem to get excited over trifles. I am annoyed by those who make hasty judgments. Some might think that because I smile and have fun, I’m not serious. Sure, my vision may be different, but I always strive to follow the guidelines given to me.
Je suis lassé de ces polémiques incessantes et futiles. Certaines personnes semblent s’enflammer pour des broutilles. Je suis agacé par ceux qui portent des jugements hâtifs. Certains pourraient penser que, parce que je souris et que je m’amuse, je ne suis pas sérieux. Certes, ma… pic.twitter.com/CG2N0tkU1D
— Gael Monfils (@Gael_Monfils) September 23, 2023
Nobody is questioning Monfils as a player or a person. If anything he was a bit uninformed about the nature of Laver Cup. Now he knows better.
The Frenchman elaborated further.
“At 37, I just try to make the most of every moment,” he said. “When I was asked to participate in the Laver Cup, I was honored. With my current ranking, outside the top 100 at this age, I even thought it was a joke. But I take this opportunity very seriously, for the event, for my team and especially for me. Traveling to Vancouver and leaving my family again is not the easiest thing. But, despite everything, I continue to practice my profession with passion and sincerity, as I have always done. And, without tongue in cheek, I must admit that I am very well paid for this and that the conditions are exceptional.
“I know, some will say that I have accomplished nothing, that I am a clown… But the truth is that I am happy and fulfilled. I want to say that the Laver Cup is a fantastic event, and I plan to make the most of the end of my weekend. Let’s go Team Europe, let’s catch up Team World 💪🏾!”