(Reuters) - Gael Monfils was accused of “tanking” during his first-round defeat at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Monday when the 14th-seeded Frenchman lost to Poland’s Jerry Janowicz 6-4 7-5 in 75 minutes on Monday.
Monfils served so quickly in the second set that ball boys barely had time to get into position after each point before play resumed.
At one stage, television commentators joked that they thought Monfils was in such a hurry because he had a tee time booked to play golf.
During one rally, he turned his back on his opponent briefly, prompting disbelief in the commentary box.
“To not give 100 percent and be so blatant about it, I think it’s disrespectful,” two-time U.S. Open champion Tracy Austin said on the Tennis Channel.
”It looked like exhibition tennis. We’ve seen that way too many times with him.
“With Gael, it’s so difficult to watch because you know his upside ceiling could be so big but he just goes away and doesn’t even try.”
Despite his apparent indifference, Monfils actually had a set point in the second before succumbing to the big-serving Pole. Monfils’ 10th-seeded compatriot Gilles Simon was also sent packing after losing 6-4 6-7(3) 6-3 to Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who blasted 35 aces and outlasted the Frenchman in a long match that was extended by a rain delay.
In later action, Thanasi Kokkinakis won a three-set battle against Fabio Fognini 4-6 6-2 6-3 as his tennis did the talking after his name made controversial headlines last week.
Fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios taunted opponent Stan Wawrinka in a Rogers Cup match in Montreal that Kokkinakis had slept with the Swiss player’s girlfriend, drawing a fine and the ire of the tennis world.
Kokkinakis, who himself had a verbal spat with American Ryan Harrison in qualifying for this event, was critical of his compatriot’s comment.
Other winners on Monday included 13th seed David Goffin along with Americans Mardy Fish and Jack Sock.
World number one Novak Djokovic, who had a first round bye, will face Frenchmen Benoit Paire in the second round while Fish takes on Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray.
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal also received first round byes.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina and Jahmal Corner; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/John O'Brien