The Frenchman had high hopes of returning to the ATP 250 event in Montpellier because he won the trophy in the city a few times. It was a complicated matchup, as Flavio Cobolli is a player who grew up on clay but can certainly give anyone some trouble.
Despite some early struggles, the Italian managed to completely outplay Monfils with his weird forehand angles and returns. Monfils seemed to have rushed with drop shots, serve and volley, which Cobolli quickly figured out.
He adjusted and turned around the match. Monfils won the opening set, which lasted 93 minutes, in the tiebreak. It was complicated, as he opened with an early break but then lost it and ultimately won in the tie-break.
The second set was similar because Cobolli was starting to figure things out, and Monfils was just rushing things. It didn't work, but the Frenchman couldn't regain control of the match despite the home crowd support.
He dropped his serve more than once in the second set to lose it 3-6 and even more than that in the final set. The final set saw Cobolli dominate the play, as he didn't allow his opponent to do virtually anything.
One break followed another, and the final score showed it pretty well, as Cobolli was able to win the match 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-0. It was basically the same thing that happened to Andy Murray, with both of them seemingly struggling to find any kind of rhythm.
It will be interesting to see what Monfils says after the match, but it's clear that the veterans on the ATP Tour have been struggling a lot lately, even though they still have a lot to offer on the tennis courts.