Gael ‘Le Monf’ Monfils, a former semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows, treated the fans in New York to some of his magic as the French veteran scored a four-set win over Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel to advance to the second round of the 2023 US Open.
The French veteran, ranked No 162 in the world and about to celebrate his 37th birthday on September 1st, lost the first set 6-4 to the 95th-ranked Daniel before storming back to win the next three sets 6-4, 6-2, 7-6, helped by 23 aces along the way.
Monfils was preceded on Court 17 by wife Elina Svitolina, who also won her first- round match on Tuesday. The French showman is through to the second round at the US Open for the 13th time in 15 main draw appearances.
Monfils, who will line up alongside Daniil ‘The Chessmaster’ Medvedev, Andrey ‘Rublo’ Rublev, Christopher ‘The Rocket’ Eubanks and Diego ‘El Peque’ Schwartzman for the UTS Frankfurt event in mid-September, will face eighth seeded Rublev for a spot in the third round. The Russian scored a win over Arthur Cazaux in the first round.
The pair have met twice on tour earlier and have split their two meetings, which both came on hard courts. Monfils beat Rublev in the Doha final in 2018 while the Russian won their round of 16 clash in Cincinnati in 2021