Monday, June 05, 2006

Monfils Waking The Echoes of Noah?


Yannick Noah, despite a solid career, will always be remembered for his run to the 1983 French Open title when he got on a roll (he lost only one set the entire tourney) and had his fellow Frenchmen all fired up. It was Noah's signature moment - well, before becoming known mainly as the dad of Joachim Noah - and one the French will never forget.

Perhaps fellow Frenchie Gael Monfils can do the same. Yesterday, during his ouster of the last American in the field, James Blake, Monfils was all fist pumps, smiles and screams, displaying an enthusiasm not often seen in the often staid world of tennis. And the Paris crowd was eating it up. Monfils, 19, seems to be a natural showman.

This French Open is expected to be little more than a precursor for a final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and it's for this reason that an extended run by Monfils could be exciting. We shall see.

And, hey, Monfils doesn't wear capri shorts, which is always a plus.

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