French tennis star Gael Monfils succeeded in his mission of finishing his French Open first round match against Japanese Taro Daniel on Tuesday as he won 6-0 6-4 6-1 in an hour and 41 minutes of play. The 14th-seeded Frenchman had to win the match quickly in order to avoid continuing his Roland Garros opener on Wednesday as the match started just short of 20:00 pm local time.
"I really wanted to finish today. I didn't want to play a set tomorrow," Monfils said, per the ATP website. "I'm happy I managed to play well, and I'm very happy about that." After being bageled in the first set, world No.
103 Daniel started the second set with a break but the Frenchman overturned the things to take a two-set lead. "I paid a price at the beginning of the second set because I was too fast from the back of the court, and I could have waited a bit to slow down, ease the pressure.
And then luckily I was able to win this very long game at 5-4 and go two sets to love," Monfils said. "It's not easy. But two sets to love, I was quite happy to win this game for one good reason. I was serving afterwards, and I was going to put a lot of pressure, serve very hard, to show that I want to go faster."
Monfils plays next against fellow compatriot Adrian Mannarino, who beat Stefano Travaglia in the first round. I"never easy to play a French guy, especially Adrian. He has a game which is particularly — he's left-handed, he plays very flat and low balls in the backhand.
And over the past two years, he's been playing better on clay. He's feeling better. He's a good warrior," Monfils said of Mannarino. "It's always difficult matches in Roland Garros to play against French players because the audience is shared. It's not easy."