Impressive Monfils happy to show his serious side

Fri Sep 2, 2016 7:17pm EDT
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By Simon Cambers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seriousness and Gael Monfils usually go together about as well as fish and chocolate.

However, 10 months in the company of Mikael Tillstrom seems to have turned Monfils into a more consistent performer and an impressive 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Spain's Nicolas Almagro put the Frenchman into the last 16 at the U.S. Open on Friday.

Monfils loves to entertain and there is surely no more athletic player on the ATP Tour but there has been a steel about his performances in 2016, with his Swedish coach Tillstrom playing a pivotal role.

"He (Tillstrom) is a very serious guy on the court, very picky with every tip he gives me," said 10th seed Monfils, who will next play Marcos Bahgdatis of Cyprus.

"Then he is a very fun guy outside the court. Very sensible and it's a great mix."

For a man who has been through his share of coaches, Monfils conceded that his partnership with Tillstrom was a case of right time, right place.

"I think every collaboration I had was great," the 29-year-old Frenchman said. "It's always different, your life, everything's moving, everything's growing.

"I think I am at a time where I also understand my sport better, understand myself better so for me, it's for sure a different approach."   Continued...

Aug 31, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Gael Monfils of France after beating Jan Satral of the Czech Republic on day three of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports