French talent, Gael Monfils, nicknamed “Slider man”, is the latest star signing for Brisbane 2010.
The 23-year-old Frenchman said he is looking forward to opening his Australian Open campaign in Brisbane in January.
“It will be the first time I will be going to Brisbane and I heard it has a pretty good stadium so I would like to see it and play on it. I think it is a very good tournament to prepare for the Australian Open and I am looking forward to it,” Monfils said.
When asked on his playing strategy for the Brisbane International Monfils said “my parents always taught me to be myself on the court, to enjoy and if I can give a great show to the crowd I will for sure. I think I will also let my emotions come out.
“When you go to a tournament it is to win it. I think last year I had a pretty good start and this year I want to have a better one and for sure this tournament will help me reach maybe a big goal for the Australian Open. I will try to be ready, 100 percent fit at the Brisbane International.”
Announced today at the launch of the Brisbane International, Tournament Director Steve Ayles said he was delighted the dynamic Frenchman will be joining the star studded line-up.
“Monfils is a strong competitor who brings speed, athleticism and acrobatics to the tennis court,” Ayles said.
“He will be a real crowd pleaser. He interacts with the fans during matches, screams more than your normal tennis player and puts on a real show sliding around the court during points and dancing at the end of matches.
“Monfils is a talented player and will be one to watch come January.”
Currently ranked No.13, Monfils is one of two players, Fernando Verdasco being the other, to crack the top 10 for the first time this year with his highest ranking, No.9, recorded in March.
After a stunning career on the junior circuit, where he won three Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon) and earned the number one spot at the end of 2004, Gael has now established himself as a marquee player on the ATP circuit.
Monfils won his first ATP title in Sopot in 2005 and added the Metz men’s singles title in 2009. His main Grand Slam achievements include a semi–final at the French Open in 2008 and a quarter–final appearance in 2009. He was named ATP Newcomer of Year in 2005 and has also competed in 6 additional ATP finals.
Coached by Roger Rasheed, Monfils is usually described as a defensive counter-puncher who likes to stand behind the baseline and retrieve every shot until he forces an error from his opponent or manoeuvres around to hit a clean winner.
He is also well known for dancing to celebrate victories and possesses a huge serve capable of reaching over 140 mph.
Monfils’s best friends are countrymen and former juniors Josselin Ouana, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Paterne Mamata and he considers Arthur Ashe to be his favourite tennis player.
If he didn’t play tennis the athletic Frenchman has stated he would play basketball and is an avid fan of NBA team Detroit Pistons with his favourite basketball player Carmelo Anthony.
His father, Rufin, was a former soccer player and Monfils’s two favourite football clubs are Arsenal FC and Paris Saint–Germain. When asked about Australian Rules football, Monfils said “I think I can be pretty good because I am fast and I don’t want anyone to hit me so I can snake anywhere. Actually it is [a] cool [game].”
Brisbane International 2010 series packages are on sale now with single sessions available on 14 October. Ground passes remain $9.90 with the qualifying event on Friday 1–2 January 2010 remaining free.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketek.com.au or 1300 888 104.