Team World had taken a commanding 2-0 lead in the opening two singles matches when Monfils stepped on the court looking to reduce the arrears for Team Europe. Taking on Auger-Aliassime in his home country was no mean feat, even with the Canadian player's dismal 2023 campaign.
Auger-Alissime was certainly pumped for the occasion and was in business mode. He wasn't playing by the Frenchman's theatrics. An incessant Auger-Aliassime held for a 3-2 lead in the opening set when he complained to the umpire of Monfils' time-wasting stunts.
The Canadian felt that Monfils was taking too much time between points and could be heard telling the umpire to enforce the ATP rulebook and penalize his opponent at the changeover. That short dialogue spilled over to the other side of the court, where Monfils resented Auger-Aliassime's protestations.
"Are you sticking to the ATP rules? Are you telling me that is normal? He (Monfils) sits down for like 30 seconds. That is a time violation warning, that’s not, ‘I’m gonna talk to him.’ Because I can play games too. I can play games too."
Monfils crossed over to Team World's bench and engaged in a heated war of words in the French language. Just before the ninth game of the match, the Frenchman's annoyance was clearly visible, and explained his position to the team, feeling that the Laver Cup was meant to be a fun, exhilarating experience for all players and that the ATP rules would be relaxed.
"If I don’t want to play a tournament, I don’t play it, you know. They call me and they tell me how the Laver Cup will be so nice. We can be free. And then I feel like, because it hurt him, you know, it hurt him. And I don’t want to hurt him. Me am here to have fun."
Auger-Aliassime was asked not to be entangled in another discourse and went on to clinch a 6-4, 6-3 win that put his team into a 3-0 lead before the doubles pair of Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul completed a clean sweep for Team World on Day 1.