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'Adopted' by French fans, Federer beats Monfils

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2009-06-04

Boosted by French support, Roger Federer defeated Parisian Gaël Monfils in the French Open quarter-final. The victory allows the Swiss player to move closer to his objective: to be the sixth man ever to win all four Grand Slam tournaments.

Roger Federer’s victory against Gaël Monfils opens a door for the Swiss tennis player. Winning the French Open would allow Federer to achieve his objective: to be the sixth man in tennis history to win all four Grand Slam tournaments.


It’s a wish that fans here would like to see come true, as well -- at this point, Parisian spectators seem to have eyes only for the man from Basel.

Even Gaël Monfils -- a Parisian, no less -- has been doubting his support at Central Court. "French fans respect Roger a lot. They have a harder time letting themselves go", admitted the local, slightly disappointed at not having had the public behind him at this quarter-final.

Spectators remained practically mute throughout the entire match, hesitating between their personal favorite and the hometown player. In the previous round, when Monfils faced off against Andy Roddick, the crowd had been hostile toward the Texan.

French Open followers would like to see the Swiss player finally top off his career in Paris, as André Agassi did in 1999. The sentiment has not gone unnoticed by Federer: "I feel like I’ve been adopted by the French public. I’d like to thank them for that. I’m going to try to give them some good tennis”, Federer declared at the press conference that followed his match against Monfils.

In the semi-final, Federer will face Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro, who eliminated French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last 16 round – something that will make fans here support their Swiss protégé even more.

Date created : 2009-06-04