Felix Auger-Aliassime explains his feud with Gael Monfils after a heated altercation at the Laver Cup 2023
The Canadian asked the umpire to make sure that the Frenchman didn’t take too much time between points while he was serving.
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Geal Monfils engage in a heated debate as John McEnroe looks on (Credit : Eurosport YT)
Canadian tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime was involved in a tense confrontation with Gael Monfils during his 6-4 6-3 win at the Laver Cup in Vancouver, Canada. The duo faced off in the third match of Day 1 of the 6th edition of the annual team tournament. The pair got into heated exchanges during the changeovers in the first set.
Aliassime apparently complained to Monfils about the lack of intensity exhibited by him. According to Felix, Monfils was taking too long between the points and demanded that the ATP shot clock be followed. “What did the people that brought him here tell him?” he said to Ben Shelton, during the changeover at 5-4. Gael asserted that he thought the event was a bit more relaxed. “They call me & say ‘You can be free…’ For me, I’m here to have fun,” he said to his team.
“That was it for me. Just trying to stand up for myself,” Auger-Aliassime said after the match. “Then, I don’t know, it escalated quite quickly for some reason. For somebody that followed my career for a while, I’m rarely in these situations, I think with any player I have good relationships with.”
“I think it’s okay for me to step up for myself and be like, Look, I’m here to compete, and I’m not going to let my opponent kill the time and try to, you know, kill the rhythm on my serve. I came in thinking I have played this tournament and I think everybody involved, not just myself, we all believed that Laver Cup is a tournament that I think has the potential to be taken very seriously, not just now but also in the future. So we’re taking this seriously,” he added. Interestingly, the Laver Cup matches since 2017 have been included in player H2Hs and ATP Win/loss Records.
Defending champions Team World won all four matches against Team Europe to dominate day one of the tournament. Ben Shelton, Francisco Cerundolo and Felix Auger-Aliassime all triumphed in their singles matches and were followed by Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul, who completed a clean sweep in the doubles for Team World.
Nick Kyrgios shares his take on the Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gael Monfils controversy
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios took to social media site ‘X’ to share his thoughts on the feud between Felix and Monfils. Kyrgios jumped in defense of both the players, sharing a post captioned, “And this is the beauty of it!!! You see the contrast in players, personality and game styles….. I’ve been around FAA he is one of the most professional players ever, I remember him taking notes on the sideline one year, then you have La monf….. entertainer… epic. LETS GO!!!!!”
And this is the beauty of it!!! You see the contrast in players, personality and game styles….. I’ve been around FAA he is one of the most professional players ever, I remember him taking notes on the sideline one year, then you have La monf….. entertainer… epic. LETS GO!!!!! https://t.co/8CnYr8mH7I— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 23, 2023
Later in the day,20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer returned to the Laver Cup one year after his retirement. Talking about the tournament, he said, “The Laver Cup is an amazing combination of being in a team with other heroes and being together, having dinner together, lunch together, talking tennis all day, and just feeding off one another, and hopefully leaving the Laver Cup motivated and inspired to go on and do great things, and win every tournament you possibly can.”
Team World heads into the Day 2 of the competition with a healthy 4-0 lead. Each match on day 2 is worth 2 points and the headline clash will see Andrey Rublev face-off the big-serving American Taylor Fritz to kick off the day. The first team to reach 13 points will lift the trophy.
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