Andy Murray will know he will not be just playing against his opponent Gael Monfils on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the French Open, but pretty much the entire crowd at the Philippe Chatrier.
Where to Watch Live:
Monfils vs Murray is scheduled to be played at Philippe Chatrier, with the men's quarterfinal scheduled to start after the women's match between Andrea Petkovic and Sara Errani which begins at 2 pm local time (5.30 pm IST). Live coverage in India will be on Neo Sports and Neo Prime. International viewers, including India, can catch the action via live streaming HERE or HERE. Listen to the action HERE. Viewers in the US can live stream the matches HERE or HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can catch the action HERE. The matches can be live streamed by UK viewers HERE.
Facing a home favourite is always a difficult thing to do in a Grand Slam, and when that home favourite happens to be a maverick capable of playing some tennis that is out of this world and/or tennis that can be called mediocre at best, it gets that little bit more difficult.
Murray and Monfils have known each other for quite a while, coming up through the junior ranks together and forging their respective careers as professionals. While Murray has done exceedingly well to realise his talent, Monfils has not quite been able to showcase it as well as he would have liked, with injuries and inconsistency hampering the always-entertaining Frenchman.
However, on his day, Monfils is capable of topping any player on the circuit. "It's going to be an exciting match," said Murray. "I'm sure there will be some fun rallies. There always is when I have played against him.
"We haven't played against each other for quite a while, so I'm looking forward to it."
Murray is coming off a straight set victory over Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round, with the Brit admitting after the match he was still feeling the effects of that marathon third round encounter against Philipp Kohlschreiber, which the Brit clinched with a 12-10 scoreline in the fifth set.
"I was tired after the match against Kohlschreiber," Murray said. "I thought I dictated as many points as I could [against Verdasco]. It's not always possible, because you're playing against top tennis players. He's got a lot of firepower as well."
Monfils has beaten Murray at the French Open before, way back in 2006 when the two were teenagers, with the Frenchman fighting back from two sets down to topple the Scot in the first round.
While that match might have faded away from memory, it is a pointer to the fact that Monfils can never be counted out, no matter how far away from victory he might be in the match.
"He won Wimbledon, so for sure mentally it will be different for him," said Monfils. "He has proved that on clay he's a tough opponent, too. We grew up pretty much together," said Monfils. "It's been a long time I know him, and it's always fun to play against him."