THE one thing we’ve come to know about Gael Monfils is there is two of him.
One is a cyborg programmed for world domination.
The other wants to spend the rest of days in a hammock.
Forgive the man for wanting the hammock today.
It was as hot as hell. 69 degrees on court. Celsius.
A number of years ago it was so hot someone filmed an egg frying on the court. Organisers didn’t like that so much, so it wasn’t tried today.
If it was you could have done the egg, some bacon and perhaps attempted a cheese toastie. Mmmmm, cheese toasties.
But out they all went, not hot enough for the heat rule to be invoked, which was so strange.
Rod Laver Arena is a fan-forced oven. Everything created within stays within and the open roof invites more fire from the sky.
Novak Djokovic, Monfils’ opponent, sensed it could be hammock weather and reportedly turned down a chance to play at night for this timeslot apparently at the urging of coach Andre Agassi.
Makes sense, even if Djokovic denies it. It’s a play direct from the Agassi playbook, as he won four of these things thanks to torturous preparation in the Nevada hills.
“So Andre Agassi was known as, we call him The Punisher,” Jim Courier explained on Channel 7.
“He would go out on days like today at this very tournament and try to play long first sets. Try to move the guy around side to side to take the legs out. He didn’t even care necessarily if we won the first set, it didn’t matter.
“Because he was trying to get people to default. Agassi did that four times in this tournament over the course of his career. Four players didn’t make it to the finish line in a match.”