Djokovic Can't Wait To Face 'Super Elastic' Monfils In 'Duel Of Veterans'

Djokovic Can't Wait To Face 'Super Elastic' Monfils In 'Duel Of Veterans'

by Nurein Ahmed

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic will look to keep his undefeated streak against Gael Monfils intact when the pair clash in a mouthwatering Round of 16 clash at the Cincinnati Masters.

Despite the lopsided head-to-head record, Djokovic reminded the world of the strengths Monfils possesses calling him a talent and an all-round athlete. Djokovic expounded his point, saying Monfils' 'good genes' give him unmatched athleticism, while also adding several aspects of his game like his serve make him a dangerous player.

Monfils has never been closer to beating Djokovic than during their 2020 Dubai semifinal clash in which he had three match points, but couldn't close out a straight-sets victory. Djokovic came back to win 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 and would win the title a day later.

Djokovic now leads the Frenchman 18-0 in their series but feels it's almost impossible to put the ball past him in rallies given how expertly and effortlessly Monfils covers the court. And given Monfils' recent wave of momentum, Djokovic knows the task will be difficult on Thursday night.

"When it comes to his game? Well, his athleticism is off the charts. I mean, there are not too many players that can slide the way he does. You know, he's got the very good genes, obviously, the way he's super strong, super elastic, dynamic. He's an all-around player. He's so talented."

"Yeah, so he's a super-dangerous player, because he can play equally well in offense and in defense. Sometimes you have a feeling you can't get ball past him. So, yeah, and big serve. Obviously, he's been winning some big matches last couple weeks. Yeah, hopefully he's not going to win any more this week."

36-year-old Djokovic is only a year younger than Monfils, and while the Serbian star has been the veteran player in many matchups this year, he was keen to float around the narrative ahead of this match so that journalists don't overlook his age.

"It's great to see him play on a high level again after struggling with his injuries for a few years. We cannot forget that he's older than me, because everyone talks about my age (laughing). I think it's worth saying that he's one year older. It's going to be a duel of veterans tomorrow, so it's going to be quite interesting to see that."


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