Date of birth: September 1, 1986
Place of birth: Paris, France
Height: 6ft 4in (1.93m)
ATP Tour titles: 11
Career-high ranking: 6
Best Grand Slam performance: SF Roland-Garros 2008, US Open 2016
UTS appearances: Debut
Style and personality:
One of France’s golden generation, Gael Monfils is making his way back from injury and from a break after the birth of his first child, with wife and fellow pro Elina Svitolina. Perhaps the most talented of the French players, Monfils covers the court like no one else, especially on a clay court, where he seems to be able to span the baseline with just one big slide. A big server and fabulous athlete, he could surely have played almost any sport, but thankfully he chose tennis, where he has thrilled crowds around the world for the best part of two decades with his brilliant tennis and effortless charisma.
As a junior, Monfils was untouchable. In 2004, he won the first three Grand Slam junior titles and only missed out on achieving the calendar-year junior Grand Slam when, carrying an injury, he lost in the third round of the US Open and proceeded to smashed his racquets in frustration. A born entertainer, Monfils soon won his first title in 2005, in Sopot, but it took him four more years to win his second, having struggled with serious knee injuries. He reached the semi-finals at Roland-Garros in 2008, losing to Roger Federer and despite occasional brilliance in the intervening years, more often than not on home soil, it took him another eight years to reach another slam semi-final, at the US Open in 2016, where Novak Djokovic blocked his path. Even at 36 and despite all his injuries, he remains a brilliant shot-maker and a true entertainer.