In a press conference at the Rogers Cup, Gael Monfils shared the reasons behind his withdrawal from the semifinals match against Rafael Nadal. The Frenchman had played a two-and-a-half-hour quarter-final against Roberto Bautista Agut earlier in the afternoon.
Recalling the moments following the win over the Spaniard, Monfils said: "Right after, the first question of my coach was, 'How bad was my ankle?' I felt it. I said I didn't roll it, like, full, but I roll it a little bit, enough for me to be careful.
He told me I had no chance. I was like, 'Yeah,' but we never know... He knows I love these matches, night session, Rafa. It's because I playing tennis is for that, for the big moments, big shows. He says, 'But not this one.'
He's right because we (have been) battling all the year. (It was) unfortunate in March, a little bit again in July. Maybe it was the safest decision not to play tonight." On his win over Bautista Agut, Monfils added: "I won.
I'm happy. I played a good match. I started well. I felt good. But at 6-4, 2-1 I had a pain moving backwards, and my ankle that was already painful, I hurt it again. When you're warmed up, it's okay. Even it's very okay because I was able to run a lot in the next game because on that previous game I got broken.
I had opportunities to break back the following game. I really used my ankle. But very quickly you could see that physically I was not fit as I should be since the beginning of the week. So in the third set, I chose to play only my serve games.
On the return games, I didn't have enough energy to win. My ankle was hurting, I was afraid for my ankle. I chose to playfully the service games where I was hitting hard, and then in the tiebreaker, I gave it all. I tried to be aggressive. The backhand down the line helped me a lot. I was able to pull it out."