The Laver Cup is off to an exciting start but it has been mired in controversies already. French tennis star Gael Monfils got into an argument with Felix Auger-Aliassime on the first day itself. Australian star Nick Kyrgios too, caught wind of it and jumped in to express his thoughts on the issue.
The argument between Gael and Felix became the talking point of the tournament. Team World had been leading when the two locked horns for the third rubber of the day. Auger-Aliassime got annoyed with Monfils for taking too long between points. He ended up asking the umpire how his opponent got away with time violations.
It became very apparent that the two players had approached the game with different mindsets. Felix was treating it as a regular ATP match, whereas Monfils believed it was more of an exhibition match.
Monfils & Aliassime argument at Laver Cup
Gael: “They call me & say ‘You can be free…’ For me, I’m here to have fun.”
Felix: “What did the people that brought him here tell him?”
They were in very different mindsets coming into this match.
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 23, 2023
Ben Shelton tried to calm down Felix when he overheard Gael trying to explain his side to his teammates. Monfils and Felix tried to talk it out with each other, but the damage was already done. Gael’s play suffered for it, and he ended up losing the match.
Since the controversy blew out of proportion on social media, Monfils took to Twitter to explain his participation. Gael wrote how it was not easy for him to leave his family and travel to Vancouver, but he did. He added that he is treating this event seriously, even if it does not come across as such. “I am tired of these incessant and futile controversies,” he wrote.
Je suis lassé de ces polémiques incessantes et futiles. Certaines personnes semblent s’enflammer pour des broutilles. Je suis agacé par ceux qui portent des jugements hâtifs. Certains pourraient penser que, parce que je souris et que je m’amuse, je ne suis pas sérieux. Certes, ma… pic.twitter.com/CG2N0tkU1D
— Gael Monfils (@Gael_Monfils) September 23, 2023
This argument has also drawn attention away from the fact that Team Europe is performing horrifically. Nevertheless, as this controversy still raged on, Nick Kyrgios also took to X to share his views.
Nick Kyrgios shared his thoughts on the Gael Monfils-Felix Auger-Aliassime controversy
The Aussie star is quite active on social media. Over the years, Kyrgios has become quite a controversial figure. He jumped in when the news of the Gael-Felix argument caught his attention.
Kyrgios shed light on how the whole incident highlighted the differences in their personalities. Gael Monfils is an easy-going player with a flair for theatrics on the court. Auger-Aliassime is the exact opposite of Gael. Kyrgios recollected how he once saw Felix taking notes on the sideline.
And this is the beauty of it!!! You see the contrast in players, personality and game styles….. I’ve been around FAA he is one of the most professional players ever, I remember him taking notes on the sideline one year, then you have La monf….. entertainer… epic. LETS GO!!!!! https://t.co/8CnYr8mH7I
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 23, 2023
So far at the Laver Cup, Team World is leading Team Europe 10-2. They look set to win the trophy, as Team Europe tries to salvage something on the final day.