WATCH: ‘I’m sorry,’ says Gael Monfils as heated argument with Andrey Rublev ends in a handshake
Andrey Rublev and Gael Monfils’ third-round encounter at the Western & Southern Open turned into a spicy affair as the pair was involved in heated verbal exchange midway through the match.
The drama kicked off at the start of the second set when Monfils appeared to injure his left knee and the chair umpire asked the Frenchman if he wanted to see the doctor at the next changeover to which he replied “sure”.
At the end of his service game, Monfils went to his seat and asked the official if it is possible to get treatment before his next service game.
Things got tense in the heat of the moment…
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Chair umpire: “You can, of course you can.”
Monfils: “Because I just don’t want him to be disturbed.”
Chair umpire: “Gael, it’s always wait until the changeover. But if at some point you really need it…”
Monfils: “No, no – I don’t want to disturb him, if after or before my service game I can take it, it’s fine. I play now.”
He continued to play and broke the Rublev serve to 2-0 up in the set and then the Russian had an exchange with the official.
Chair umpire: “He’s not feeling well, I’m not a doctor.”
Rublev: “Not feeling well? Look how he runs. Not feeling well…”
Chair umpire: “But it’s not… I cannot evaluate that.”
Rublev: “Seven years, the last seven years. Every time he starts to lose, something is happening.”
Monfils also threw up in a garbage can besides the court and he eventually received treatment, but before his service game started, he went to the net and told Rublev: “It’s nothing against you. I’m sorry. I’m very sorry. I’m sorry. You know what? I said before, I stop, then for you, I want to play. I’m very sorry. But why do you have a problem?”
Rublev: “Five years, the last five years, you have the most physios on Tour.”
Monfils: “And I threw up. You think I made myself throw up?”
Rublev: “It just happens every time.”
Monfils: “I’m sorry, you know what I mean. I don’t want that. I’m sorry, you know that.”
The pair eventually shook hands and the match continued.
For the record, the Russian won 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5) to set up a quarter-final clash against Benoit Paire from France.
“It was super tough. It was really humid,” Rublev said. “Gael was running super fast and it’s impossible to play short rallies with him. If you try to shoot every ball you will miss most of them and the match will be over in half an hour. So you need to take your time, stay in the rally and wait for the right moment.”
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