March 26, 2023

Competing in the Challenger tournament in Phoenix after his elimination in the 1st round of Indian Wells for his big comeback on the courts, Gaël Monfils was also ejected from the start in Arizona, where the Frenchman was beat in three sets (6-4, 6-7, 6-3) Thursday by the Russian Shevchenko, 132nd in the standings, during a game started the day before but interrupted by the rain.

Bis repeated for Gaël Monfils. As in Indian Wells a few days ago for his big return to competition, the 36-year-old Frenchman was knocked out of the entrance, this Thursday in Phoenix, where the former member of the Top 10 was one of the registered for this Challenger tournament set to become one of the toughest in the history of the category, with not only Monfils and other Tricolores competing (Richard Gasquet, Quentin Halys and Grégoire Barrère also taking part in the event) but also as leaders of poster the Italian Matteo Berrettini and the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.

Like many disappointed Indian Wells, “La Monf'” was counting on this second tournament after his defeat in the Californian Masters 1000 – he had not weighed heavily (6-3, 6-1 defeat) against the Australian Jordan Thompson – on the occasion of his first match since last August to immediately recover his health, especially since the Parisian must very quickly chain meetings to find the rhythm of the competition.

Monfils beaten over two days

Facing him, Monfils, now 210th in the standings (he takes advantage of his protected ranking to be able to enter tournaments without having to compete in qualifications), had a player much less dangerous on paper than Thompson, on March 9. in Indian Wells. Nevertheless, Alexander Shevchenko is not the first comer. The Russian, 132nd in the standings, had also been very close to creating the feat in Dubai against the recent winner of the Marseille tournament and 11th in the world Hubert Hurkacz.

Against Monfils, Shevchenko did not fail, however. After leading 6-4 and 4-0 before the ex-world No. the opponent of the French in the last round, the Russian, despite two break points for the Habs to come back to 3-2, finished the job Thursday during this game started on Wednesday, to finally win in three sets (6 -4, 6-7, 6-3). The “Musketeer” has shown great things, but as far as his best level is concerned, he is still very far from it.

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