Gael Monfils: 'Ribs, knees, back, virus: I can explain the issues I had this year'

Tennis - In a very long press conference in Paris Bercy the French player analyzed his very difficult year

by Luigi Gatto
Gael Monfils: 'Ribs, knees, back, virus: I can explain the issues I had this year'

Very long press conference by Gael Monfils in, Paris Bercy! The French player withdrew from the event three days ago due to a rib injury, but held a presser on Monday with his doctor Bernard Montalvan to explain his delicate situation ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals in London, a tournament for which he is already qualified.

Monfils, who skipped Roland Garros this year said, 'Some things were said.

Some things were not said, and other things were invented. So, that's what I want to clarify tonight. So, I'm going to go step by step. First, the virus I had at the French Open. I don't know the name of the virus, so Bernard will say that.

He will tell you exactly what you need to know.'

'He had fever,' Montalvan revealed. 'He was vomiting. He went to the hospital. I even thought it was appendicitis. So, we went to the hospital. And for four days he was not able to sleep and drink.

We had a scan and nothing was found. It was a virus that was not explained. He started feeling better in the beginning of June. He started being able to eat a little bit, to stop vomiting, and then he started practice again during the month of June.

We tried to do the blood test, but we didn't find anything. And it's not rare. You can ask the faculty of medicine.' Gael, who played Wimbledon and lost in the first round to Chardy, only thought about his health during those months. 'Tennis was far for me. It was life.

I mean, the only thing I wanted was to feel better. It cost me my hair. I had long hair. So, it cost me my hair. I just wanted to be better. I didn't care about having a name for the disease. When I was told, I was healthy again, that I had no risks, that was the important thing.

The rest was not important.'

In July, he skipped the Davis Cup quarter-finals against Czech Republic because of knee injury. 'He has tendinitis on the left knee,' Dr. Montalvan revealed. 'The tendon is quite damaged since 2004-2007.

And on the right knee, his patella is in two pieces. In 2012, it was a recurrent pain. You know he stopped for that. So, we said he's going to be -- we're going to do a surgery so that he won't have pain anymore. He was almost operated on, and in the end, we didn't do that.

We rather chose to do rehabilitation to reinforce his knee, because we were not able to answer the question, ‘Would it be better with the surgery?’ And of course, because of his knees that are fragile, when he plays too much, it hurts.

So, after the Olympics, his left knee was more painful. So, we had a portable ultrasound machine in the Davis Cup, and I saw that he was inflamed. I told him it was his tendon hurting. So, if he had to play, he needed anti-inflammatories and bandages.' A few days before the Davis Cup semi-final against Croatia in Zadar, he withdrew because hurt his knee in the stairs.

Although he posted a picture of him playing basketball a few days after, for which he received criticism. Monfils thinks the criticism was understandable. 'I think it's also my bad communication. Very often I'm very brief and I don't say much about my injuries.

This is something I'm doing wrong, but I would say I'm the guilty one, not him. I wanted to stay in Zadar, but he (Yannick Noah) asked me to go away. I said I wanted to stay, but he explained that this is not the way he wanted to manage the team, and I had to listen to my captain.'

Monfils is revealing all this at the end of the season.

Why didn’t he do so months ago? 'Sometimes people don't really understand me, because people are impatient or expect a lot from me. And sometimes I don't want to say all the truth or take my time. So I think it was a matter of bad timing.

The day before yesterday there was a bad report in the newspapers, so I said, I'm going to come to Bercy and talk about my year. I want to defend myself, and I'm happy to talk openly about all this.' Now the big question is: What will happen in London? 'I'm a warrior, and I'm able to recuperate quickly', Monfils assured.

'I am injured often, but on the other hand I'm able to get better quite quickly. So, I really think I'm going to be in London, and I hope I will be 100% there. I want to be 100%. This is really my goal.' ALSO READ: Is there an indication of boredom in Andy Murray's three title wins?

Gael Monfils