Frenchman Gael Monfils claimed his first career victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium yesterday in the fourth round of the 2014 US Open to advance to the quarterfinals. Many players are reluctant to give their secrets away, but not Monfils, who, after the victory, said “I was listening to ‘Partition’ by Beyoncé. That song is a great song and it gives me great energy, great vibes.”
Monfils later talked about what music means to him in general. “I think music for me, it is part of my life. I like music. I think I’m very emotional, so I just try to take all the emotion that music brings to me. It helps me to calm down some, for sure, motivates me more. There’s always music. I think [it] just makes me smooth before the match.”
The Frenchman whose dad hails from Guadeloupe and whose mom is from Martinique, loves playing in New York. Well, I love the city, first. For me, it’s the first time I traveled overseas with my mom it was here, so for me it means a lot. First time I see my dad overseas was here, too.” Through his parents, Monfils was able to make a connection with New York City. “My dad, when I have been with him and my previous visits, he passed away like a few years ago, and he bring me to the Bronx and had family and bring me [to meet] some friends he had. Then he show me that the community, the black community was behind me. I was not aware about that … then they started to come to the stadium, bring me that energy, and then they just teach me that here I can feel so like at home and I have a second family also, as I say as even in the French Open. So when I feel good, the crowd is behind me, have a great spirit, I think I can be very tough to beat.”
Monfils will need the energy of the crowd tomorrow, when he faces tennis legend Roger Federer, He has already enjoyed a successful tournament, reaching the quarterfinals for just the second time in the US Open, but a victory over Federer would be the icing on the cake. Perhaps a little Beyoncé will help inspire him once more.