Gaël Monfils eliminated from entry to the Phoenix Challenger
Beaten at Indian Wells by Jordan Thompson for his return to competition after seven months of absence, Gaël Monfils (210th in the world) had joined the Phoenix Challenger to try to chain the matches.
He lost Thursday in the 1st round against the Russian Alexander Shevchenko (22 years old, 132nd in the world), who had recently led the Pole Hubert Hurkacz (11th) to the decisive tie-break before losing, in Dubai.
A fairly dense match but Monfils lacks rhythm
The game between Monfils and Shevchenko had been interrupted by rain the day before, when the Frenchman, trailing 6-4, 4-0, had managed to take the second set on the tie-break, before being trailed 2-0 in the third set. On the restart, Monfils was unable to regain control of the match, despite two break points to come back to 3-2 (return too long, backhand fault after a long rally).
Faced with a solid opponent who had won the Tenerife Challenger at the start of the year, the French delivered a fairly dense game overall despite some poorly controlled returns and sometimes forced forehand attacks. Lack of rhythm…