Former world No. 6 Gael Monfils admitted he was caught off guard by Jannik Sinner's tactics against him. Monfils, now ranked at No. 20 in the world, expected Sinner to go full power against him but the Italian opted for a more balanced style.
Sinner, ranked at No. 16 in the world, overcame Monfils in five sets 7-6 (1) 6-2 4-6 4-6 6-4. It was the third meeting between the two and Sinner's second win over Monfils. "He played a little differently than I thought.
I thought he was going to hit harder. I found him to be more patient than usual, although he made a few mistakes. He served well even though I returned well. In the important moments he managed not to make mistakes, remaining quite aggressive.
He has progressed physically. He is very, very solid," Monfils said of Sinner, per We Love Tennis.
Monfils disappointed with the result
Monfils, a 2016 US Open semifinalist, was hoping to make a deeper run at the US Open.
"Was a great fight with a great atmosphere. It was great to experience it again. I'm not happy with the results, but I enjoyed the atmosphere," Monfils said, per Lorenzo Ercoli. Sinner appeared to be cruising toward a comfortable straight-set win but Monfils refused to quit.
After losing his serve in the seventh game of the third set, Monfils responded with back-to-back breaks to overturn the deficit to force a fourth set. Sinner quickly recovered from a thurd set let down, having started the fourth set with back-to-back breaks and a 4-0 lead.
Monfils' back was against the wall but the Frenchman refused to quit as he responded with three consecutive breaks to overturn the deficit and force a fifth set. Disappointingly for Monfils, he lost his serve in the opening game of the fifth set.
Monfils paid the ultimate price for dropping his serve in the opening game as Sinner then held on to his serve the rest of the way to book a five-set win.