A former world number 6 and the winner of seven ATP titles from 27 finals Gael Monfils had a great season opening in Doha, winning the title but struggling to keep that form in the rest of the year so far, dealing with injuries that have plagued his career and prevented him from achieving more.
2018 wasn't an example, missing tournaments and retiring due to left hamstring injury, back problems and right wrist sprain that ruled him out from the US Open against Kei Nishikori in the second round. Monfils is back in action next week, competing only for the third time since Wimbledon but not at the home ATP 250 event in Metz.
Instead of that, Monfils has traveled to Taiwan to enter Kaohsiung Challenger, his second tournament at this level since 2008 and the first since Bordeaux in 2013 when he won the title. Gael has played only 13 Challengers in his career and he won five titles, including the last two tournaments he entered.
He will hope for more of the same in Kaohsiung where he had to receive a wild card (Top 50 players could enter Challengers draws only with an invitation), facing a qualifier in the opening round. It is a little bit strange to see Monfils at this event so far from Europe while he could sign for the home tournament in Metz where he won the title in 2009 but the Frenchman obviously wanted to play as many matches as possible in order to regain his form and earn some points before returning to the ATP Tour.
In addition, he will stay in Asia in the following weeks to compete in Beijing and Shanghai and he will make much shorter trip from Taiwan compared to France. Ernests Gulbis has also received a wild card and the crowd will also have a chance to see Jason Kubler, Lloyd Harris, Malek Jaziri and the Chun Hsin Tseng, one of the most promising youngsters in the world.