Gael Monfils is not scared to admit that he is scared.
Four years after his last Davis Cup final against Serbia – a final that the French team lost 3-2 – the world No. 19 with the trademark swashbuckling style is worried that this weekend could be a case of déja vu.
Monfils was a pivotal member of the team four years ago, and won the opening tie against Janko Tipsarevic, but then lost the deciding rubber to novak Djokovic to surrender the title to the Serbian team.
“Honestly, there’s a lot of pressure, and I feel that pressure myself because we really want to do well,” he said. “It is an unusual situation. For me, it’s my second chance to get a point for my country in a final.
“So, yes, I am very scared.”
The Frenchman will begin his campaign against 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. They met twice this season, and while Monfils lost both those matches, he took the world No. 2 to a deciding set in both of them. Their last meeting was a five set thriller at the US Open – a contest that could have easily gone in his favour.
“For sure it will help me, this last match on my mind,” said Monfils. “But this one’s going to be different. You have someone you can share your emotion [with] during the match, the captain who can help me, of course, if maybe I’m tight in the match.
“Definitely I expect to play a big match again because I know I need to play a big match to beat him. I’m very happy to have this opportunity again.”