7 Jan 2019

A French Affair on Tuesday

by Rhonda Karl
A French Affair on Tuesday

The French showman Gael Monfils takes on rising star Ugo Humbert to headline tomorrow night’s evening session in an all French affair.

The 20-year old Frenchman plays with the same colour and flair as his senior and comes to Auckland in career best form.  Humbert started 2018 ranked outside the top 300 and he’s now ranked 98 and has been as high as 84.

The talented leftie had huge success on the Challenger circuit winning three titles (Segovia, Ortisei, Andria) and made another three finals in Gatineau, Granby and Cassis.

Monfils on the other hand is known for his supreme athleticism and showmanship on court, has 7 ATP titles to his name and has been as high as number six in the world rankings (2016). Former world number one Andy Murray has rated Gaël Monfils as the best athlete in tennis.

Currently ranked 32 in the world, the 6’4 giant looked to be returning to his best form in 2018 after winning his 7th ATP title in Doha. He then went on to reach two more semi-finals (Argentina, Turkey) and two quarter-finals (Ecuador, Rio) before succumbing to another spate of injuries.

Just like fine wine, the Frenchman gets better with age, his best year on tour came only two years ago, in 2016, where he made the semi-final of the US Open and broke inside the top ten.

The two haven’t faced off before so the result of this match could signal the direction of French tennis for the next few years, and regardless of the score it’s sure to  be a passionate match on centre court!