After an early career marked by a few nervous breakdowns, Roger Federer conveyed the image of a gentleman on the tennis courts. This did not prevent Gaël Monfils and Félix Auger-Aliassime from getting confused during "his" Laver Cup. Respectively members of Team Europe and Team World, the two players were reunited to play the third match of the first day of the event. But, obviously, they had not come with the same motivations.
The fight started in the first set. Monfils sat behind a linesman, just to point out his mistakes, which forced his opponent to wait before serving. If the Frenchman split this gap, it was in the logic of ensuring the show for the Canadian public. A rather logical ambition: the Laver Cup is not an official competition. Involved during the exchanges, the "Monf" was rather relaxed between the points. Auger-Aliassime did not show up on court for the glitter, but rather to win the game.
Auger Aliassime & Monfils got into a bit of an argument during their match at Laver Cup.
Gael felt like the atmosphere was a relaxed, fun environment.
Felix was treating it like a regular ATP tournament.
Does anyone speak French? 😂
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 23, 2023
He first called the referee, to ask her if she applied the ATP rules, before addressing the Parisian. "I don't know what you're playing? I want to play seriously," he told her in French. Monfils had released another score: "Is it an ATP tournament or not? I'm here to have fun. The exchange lasted nearly a minute, in front of the stunned gaze of John McEnroe, captain of Team World. Then the players returned to the court.
However, they have not moved on completely. Two side changes later, Monfils was annoyed with the rest of Team Europe, who lost the first four games of the Laver Cup. "Honestly, I'm not in the mood to play, I don't have the right vibes. If I don't want to do a tournament, I don't do it. I was called and told that the Laver Cup was too cool, that we could play freely. I'm here to have fun. »
On the other hand, the FAA, in discussion with John McEnroe and Ben Shelton, still couldn't believe it: "What did the people who brought him here tell him?" Motivated by playing at home, Auger-Aliassime finally won in straight sets (6-4, 6-3). The two players exchanged a hug at the end of the game. A year after Roger Federer took advantage of his tournament to retire, it took a little drama to spice up this Laver Cup.