The Laver Cup is off to a flying start and things are already heating up. The first day witnessed Team World demolish Team Europe in Vancouver. It was not tennis alone that entertained the crowd though. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gael Monfils were involved in a heated exchange, as young Ben Shelton tried to be the mediator.
The two locked horns in the third match of the day, as Felix looked to extend Team World’s lead to 3-0. But things took a very drastic turn when the Canadian felt that Monfils was taking too long between points.
Felix vented his frustrations at the umpire, as he felt the official was being too lenient with Gael. He demanded to know why the umpire had not handed his opponent a time violation.
Auger Aliassime & Monfils got into a bit of an argument during their match at Laver Cup.
Gael felt like the atmosphere was a relaxed, fun environment.
Felix was treating it like a regular ATP tournament.
Does anyone speak French? 😂
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 23, 2023
There was a misunderstanding between the two players. Gael expressed that he thought it was a serious tournament with a relaxed atmosphere. He clarified that when the organizers had approached him, he thought it was going to be a fun event. Given Monfils’ penchant for entertainment, he was very unhappy with how the whole situation panned out.
In the middle of this heated situation, teen star Shelton tried to talk some sense into Auger-Aliassime. He told the Canadian not to pay heed to Monfils. “As soon as he knows that you’re business and you are not looking over at him anymore; you are not looking at the umpire, he’s gonna be like ‘Oh shoot,'” said Ben.
“he will be like oh shoot” 😭 pic.twitter.com/S2sn2eJALC
— Irina (@atpobsessed) September 23, 2023
It is very obvious that both Gael Monfils and Felix Auger-Aliassime approached this tournament with different mindsets. Felix was visibly annoyed, wondering why the organizers had misinformed Monfils. The exchange affected both, but particularly Monfils, who could not recover enough to win the rubber.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Gael Monfils: match summary
Auger-Aliassime easily defeated Monfils 6-4 6-3 in straight sets last night in Vancouver. It was serious business for Felix, as he was determined to showcase his skills in front of his home crowd.
The first set was tense, as a misunderstanding broke out between them. It affected Monfils more than it did Felix and the Frenchman’s game suffered for it. However, it was not an easy match by any means, as the surface was slow and both players struggled.
Auger-Aliassime broke Monfils early in the second set. As Felix mounted the pressure on Gael, he started making more errors. He especially struggled with his backhand, as Felix stretched him to the fullest. Not facing much resistance from Monfils, Felix easily won the match.
“It’s extra special for me to be playing in front of you tonight.”
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 23, 2023
By the end of the day, Team World were 4-0 up. In all the previous editions of the Laver Cup, they had never won more than two points. The second day will hopefully be just as exciting as the first.