Gael Monfils and Roger Federer will meet Sunday in the fourth round of the 2015 French Open.
Gael Monfils enters this matchup after winning back-to-back five set matches against Pablo Cuevas and Diego Schwartzman. The bad news is that Monfils has had a hard time against subpar competition. The good news is that Monfils has dug deep when he’s had to and found a way to win, while he’s had issues in the past focusing in tough matches. Monfils has done a great job of getting his first serve in and hitting winners. Monfils will have to limit his unforced errors if he’s going to pull off this upset. You also question Monfils’ stamina at this point after two long matches. Still, Monfils looks focused and poised to make another strong run in his favorite grand slam event. Monfils has made at least the quarterfinals of the French Open four times in his career.
Roger Federer has yet to drop a set in this tournament and is coming off a quick match against Damir Dzumhur. Federer has played no more than 30 games through his first three matches. Federer has just one double fault in three matches and has 26 or less unforced errors in two of his three matches. Federer looks like his usual self and is playing elite tennis right now. The one concern for Federer heading into this match is that he’s gotten less than 70 percent of his first serves in his last two matches. Federer has been eliminated before the quarterfinals just once in his last 10 French Open appearances. However, Federer was eliminated in the fourth round of the French Open last year.
These two players have played 12 times, and Federer has won eight of those matches. However, Monfils has won the last two matches, both of which were on clay, including a 2015 meeting in Monte Carlo. Monfils is 0-4 against Federer in majors.
As I said in my darkhorse article, if Monfils is ever going to win a major, it’s going to be the French Open due to the massive love and support he gets in his home country. While winning the tournament may be a long shot, I’m going to take a chance on him to pull off the upset. He’s beaten Federer in their last two meetings, and he’ll have a real shot to do it again with the crowd behind him, giving him that extra boost.