The Miami Open has begun, the big names on the ATP and WTA sides have settled into the new venue of Hard Rock Stadium.
The consensus opinion from the men and women is Hard Rock allows a countless amount of space. The player’s amenities from dining space, gym space, and lounge space have all increased nearly triple the amount in square feet.
The draw is equal across the board. With so many intriguing scenarios and potential matchups, one player on the men’s side I was looking forward to watching in person entering the ATP 1000 tournament is French tennis star, Gael Monfils.
Monfils who brings fantastic energy to tennis fans, particularly in the Miami setting, has withdrawn from the tournament. A nagging left Achilles continues to be the problem.
Monfils was warming up to start the year with a 15-3 record but was forced to withdraw ahead of his Indian Wells quarter-final with Dominic Thiem last week after that left Achilles flared.
It has become the same old love song when it comes to Monfils and the Miami Open.
Monfils, seeded at No. 16, had a first-round bye. World No. 18 Monfils was scheduled to open his Miami campaign at the new venue and location on Friday against Dutch Robin Haase.
“The treatment was going better, it has only been a week, it is not 100 percent,” Monfils stated. “I can’t step on the court if it is not 100 percent, I am still confident it will be good soon.”
Monfils at 32 years of age is set to miss the Miami event for the third year in a row. Monfils has played at the Miami event nine times so far in his career. The Frenchman’s career-best result in Miami came in 2016 when he made the quarter-final before losing to Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Along with swagger and excitement, Monfils has shown signs of winning potential when healthy. He reached a career-high ATP world No. 6 ranking 2016. Moreover, his career highlights include reaching two Grand Slam singles semifinals at the 2008 French Open and 2016 US Open.
“Big stadium, always great energy knowing Miami and it’s the crowd,” Monfils stated. “I just say until next year and try not to think about it to much. We need to stay positive even in bad periods you always find the positive.”
The beat goes on; the Frenchman will be replaced in the Miami main draw by rising South-African star Lloyd Harris.