Crowd the key component
Simply put, faced with full stands, Monfils is a completely different competitor.
A quarter-final in Toronto and Cincinnati last 16 tussle with world No.7 Andrey Rublev (two tight tie-break sets) demonstrates that returning crowds have boosted the Frenchman. He’s feeding off that extra energy, the extra motivation provided by roars amongst the rows.
Unsurprsingly, that sentiment is reciprocated, fans Stateside have relished witnessing the resurgence of Monfils and his hot-shot repertoire reel.
“I always say when I come to the US Open I almost feel at home. A crazy atmosphere,” stated Monfils after defeating Johnson.
“Even though I was playing an American, it was crazy. I missed it. I love that. Even when you play badly or worse, you are so carried, you have an energy. This match, on a field without anyone, it's hard for me. Positive energy keeps it coming back.
“I’m hoping that it continues, that it becomes more and more normal. It's simple, I started winning again when there were people. The arrival of the public, these are much more natural conditions. As soon as there is an audience, it's incredible.”