Gael Monfils 'praying' he avoids Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at French Open

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Gael Monfils 'praying' he avoids Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at French Open

French tennis star Gael Monfils says he is "praying" he avoids playing fellow compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the French Open. Tsonga, 36, announced last week the French Open would be the final tournament of his career.

Monfils, who has always had a good relationship with Tsonga, admitted it would be hard for him to control his emotions if he were to play his fellow compatriot at Roland Garros. “I’ve been wondering about playing Jo at Roland Garros," Monfils told Radio France Internationale, per Tennishead.

“Honestly, I’d have a really hard time playing Jo. I’m praying that it doesn’t happen. “Jo, since he was very young, has always been the driving force, the big brother, even if we are only one year apart.

“I have never been so happy as when I was selected for the French Davis Cup team: I had the chance to play with Jo and for me it was exceptional. “In training at the national sport institute, he was the only one who was allowed to wear his cap backwards, he was the strongest guy.

You are 14-years-old and you want to be Jo Tsonga”.

Monfils, Tsonga had a practice session in Monte Carlo

On Saturday, Monfils and Tsonga practiced together in Monte Carlo. Monfils was hampered by a foot issue but cancelling a practice session with Tsonga was never an option.

“I said to myself: ‘I don’t care, I’m training with him because these are his last training sessions,'" Monfils added. “These will be the last moments when we are still players together even if we are friends for life.’ “As a fan I want to see him play a little bit more because these last years have been harder for him physically.

These last years do not represent the great player he is”. On Sunday, Monfils announced his withdrawal from Monte Carlo because of a foot injury.