Gael Monfils is known for his incredible athleticism. The court dives, occasional rocket forehands, jumping forehands, the 360-degree-turn-before-hit.. you name it. As such he is one of the most entertaining players on the tour and a major favourite of Rovo's. He is also a two-time grand slam semifinalist. He is also, one of the most under-performed tennis players when the scale of his potential is considered. This is mainly due to an error in execution, or a psychological impediment - whatever it is, we can never know anytime now or in the near future. What we know is Monfils should change his defensive style of play in order to reach anywhere near his full potential, and the reason behind such stubborn adherence to an impeding style of play should be adjusted as soon as possible, for entrenched habits take a while to adjust - not to mention break.
Now here are what Monfils needs to change/add to his game exactly..
- He needs to hit more of that big forehands
Monfils is gifted with one of the best offensive forehands on the tour. He has the ability to smash a forehand from more positions, for more types and degrees of spins, and at more times, than almost all the other players on the tour. Such is the incredible athleticism of Monfils. Put it this way, he needs to go back to the way he was playing in 2014, when he was utilizing the most often in his career so far perhaps, his big forehands to finish points. Although the benefits were not that showing in terms of results - 2014 was not exactly Monfils' best year - such 'mediocre' performance during that year was more due to a quite observable languidness in his footwork, especially in the first half of the season. His forehand however, was the main reason for his near-upsets of both Murray and Federer, in the Rolland Garros and the US Open respectively.
- He needs to have much more aggressive footwork
It is a massive pity that Monfils' incredible movement has been for a very long time, mainly used in the chasing of balls, rather than the setting up of offensive shots. The most important aspect of tennis is your footwork, in that it determines the type of shot you hit, unless of course the ball comes directly to you which we all know is rarely the case. The type of footwork you adopt affects the kind of shot you produce. Thus, Monfils is always getting himself into this negative cycle during matches, whereby a languid footwork results in him hitting easy-to-attack-shots, which quite often forces Monfils on the run. It will be good to see the occasional brilliant on-the-run winners that result from such, but tennis victories are about getting the match statistics in your favour, and being put on runs - no matter how appealing they are aesthetically - does not help one in this regard at all.
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