Team France Will Be Motivated; Monfils Will Make Sure Of It
Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin are two of the best doubles players in the world, but they went 0-3 in the inaugural ATP Cup one year ago. Mahut says that not only do they want to work hard to turn that around as a doubles pair, but that Monfils will certainly be on the case.
“When you have Gael on the team, you always feel the pressure,” Mahut said, cracking a laugh. “Believe me.”
Mahut added that it is “revenge for us this year” in terms of the Frenchmen’s performance, a sentiment Roger-Vasselin agreed with.
“Last year we had bad results. We didn't win any matches in doubles,” Roger-Vasselin said. “We are really excited to play again. We'll try, for sure, our best to win all matches we can and help the team to win games and to qualify for the semi-finals.
The French believe having a Team Zone in the corner in the court like there was at last year’s event will help. They feed off each other during matches.
“Obviously it's a big help. In this kind of competition, you have the captain of course, and you have the guys just behind us on the chair. We really can count on Benoit and Gael to fire us up,” Mahut said. “Last year, we didn't play as good as we wanted to. It was a good experience. We look forward to playing again and having the chance to bring some points to the team.”
Paire is France’s No. 2 singles player, and he will try to get his country off to a quick start to its ties against Austria and Italy. But most important to him is supporting his teammates.
“Just most important for me is the team. If we win with the team, it's good. After, even if I lose, it doesn't matter, if the team wins,” Paire said. “I'm going to try to prepare to do as good a match against Fognini as I can on Wednesday. I really enjoyed last year. I want to do the same and enjoy with the team.”
Monfils and Paire are two of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour, and they will do their best to put on a show as they try to break through Group C to reach the semi-finals.
“Just expect to have positive vibes and energy on the stands, some screaming,” Monfils said. “[It] will be definitely a big help, a big boost for us.”