(Reuters) – Gael Monfils believes he still stands a chance of winning a Grand Slam before ending his career, the Frenchman said after losing to seventh seed Matteo Berrettini in the Australian Open quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Former world number six Monfils enjoyed an excellent buildup to the Australian Open, not dropping a set en route to his 11th tour title in a tune-up event in Adelaide.
However, it was Berrettini who found a higher gear when needed, overcoming a heroic fightback from Monfils to script a 6-4 6-4 3-6 3-6 6-2 win after an intense battle, with Monfils left to rue another missed opportunity for a maiden Grand Slam final.
“All the time in my career, I never made the good decision,” Monfils told reporters at Melbourne Park.
“I’m fine with that. I must say I’m very fine with that, but I believe I can click once. Before I finish, I believe that once I will do it.”
Monfils reached the last four at the 2008 French Open for the first time and repeated the feat eight years later at the 2016 U.S. Open, but he has never advanced past the semi-final stage of a Grand Slam.
“I need one time. I don’t need, you know — I won’t win 20 (Grand Slams), but one time, just one time I need,” Monfils said. “It’s hard. It’s been 20 years that I’m not doing the good thing, but who knows? This year it might click.
“(Win) important points, bring the A game… It’s easy to say but inside the court, (you have to) make the good choice.
“Either don’t rush or you don’t go for it. It’s always a split second, a split second and boom, it’s gone.”
(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Christian Radnedge)