Gael Monfils Withdraws From Roland Garros After Late-Night Heroics

Gael Monfils Withdraws From Roland Garros After Late-Night Heroics

by Zachary Wimer

Gael Monfils was forced to withdraw from the 2023 Roland Garros ahead of his second-round match against Holger Rune.

In the first round of the clay-court Grand Slam, the Frenchman showed everyone his undeniable fighting spirit. In a late-night thriller, Monfils defeated Sebastian Baez in five sets to set up a second-round match with the sixth-seeded Holger Rune.

After the win, he broke down in tears, but those were tears of happiness. Only a few hours later, maybe at least one tear of sadness came for Monfils who announced that he won't be able to continue at the 2023 Roland Garros.

A persistent wrist problem proved too much for Monfils to overcome, forcing him to step away from the competition ahead of a highly anticipated second-round face-off which was supposed to be the last match on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

"Actually, physically, I'm quite fine. You know, I was quite happy this morning. I woke up quite good. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve. Felt it during the match. Actually the whole match today."

He discussed how, despite attempts to manage the pain, the injury failed to recede. Morning practice sessions were undertaken with the help of anti-inflammatories, and while there was some respite, it was evident that the problem was persistent.

"And unfortunately even we push it till tonight, just come back again for another exam, and yes, wait a little bit. The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop."

During the aftermath of his first-round victory, Monfils revealed the extent of his pain, recounting the struggle he had encountered during the match. His left wrist, plagued by a strain on the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC), was causing considerable discomfort throughout the encounter.

"It's the TFCC on my left wrist, which is strained. Yesterday it was hurting, and there is a moment when I called the physiotherapist for a couple of seconds, and then I thought, no, I handled it myself, and I said, No, I don't need that, not necessarily. Then I ended the match with a lot of adrenaline and lots of things."

The doctor's advice emphasized caution over valor. Risking further damage was not an option, especially given the potentially career-threatening nature of wrist injuries for tennis players. An MRI confirmed the extent of the strain, leading to a harsh realization - playing was not advisable.

"In the evening it was there and we used ice immediately. I thought it was okay. When I woke up this morning, I took a lot of anti-inflammatories. We practiced a little. It was still hurting. We practiced again this afternoon. That was okay."

"But I felt that it was still hurting. So we had to push back again the exams. With the doctor, he was not totally certain. He said now we're going to go for it immediately, we're going to have an MRI. No, don't play."

For Monfils, this decision carries an emotional weight that is arguably greater than the physical strain. It's more than just disappointment; it's a reflection on his career, his achievements, and his future.

"I'm not really sure what I feel, but it's more than being disappointed. How many Roland Garroses will I play? That's the question. I don't know what the answer is. How many will I play? So I have just learnt that 30 minutes ago. That's really new. And for the time being I'm trying to digest this."


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