Monfils determined to play with a sore knee (French Open diary)

May 25th, 2009 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, May 25 (DPA) Last year’s semi-finalist Gael Monfils has vowed to fight through his knee pain to make it to the court for his opening game at the French Open.
The 23-year-old Frenchman has announced that he would definitely play in his first-round match against American Bobby Reynolds at the home Grand Slam come what may.

“I don’t want to pull out, I trained well,” said Monfils, who has been bothered for months because of his knee.

“My knee is hurting, but I’m ready for Tuesday. I realise that I have opportunities to seize. Maybe I’ve not had the maximum training, but I can play a few matches.”

Monfils hopes to join compatriot Gilles Simon in the second round after the seventh seed escaped with a gruelling five-set win on opening day Sunday.


Murray surprised by delayed bet ban on French player

Andy Murray said a five-week ban on a French player for minor betting on other matches in 2005 seems well over the top.

“I’m not saying betting in tennis should be tolerated, but there’s is a difference between a guy actually doing it to make money, placing 100,000 sterling ($160,000) on himself to lose a match and putting a 10 sterling bet on a match, which is not really making a whole lot of difference to his bank account,” said the Scot at the French Open.

Mathieu Montcourt has been fined - $12,000-dollar - for wagering a total of less than $200 on ATP contests involving other players.

The 24-year-old journeyman, who has earned just $34,000 this season, considers the sanctions massively excessive.

“It was in 2004. I bet on 20 or 25 players. The biggest bet was, I think, three dollars and I lost 36. Everybody is laughing,” said Montcourt.

“There is no comparison between betting in 2004 on 20 bets on Federer, whom I don’t have any influence on, or Sharapova, or Agassi. Can you imagine? I was betting on Agassi. He stopped playing like three or four years ago.”

Murray said sometimes a minor flutter increases interest on a match, but he would never indulge in what has only in recent years been ruled illegal with sanctions invoked.

“I think tennis is one of the few sports where you’re not allowed to bet on your own sport,” said the world number three.

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