Tennis ace Monfils suffers abuse
French tennis player Gaël Monfils has revealed that he was the target of a barrage of racist abuse on social media after his second-round exit from the Italian Open this week.
In an Instagram post starting with the warning “watch your eyes”, the world number nine shared a few of the abusive messages that made reference to his skin colour and called him a “loser”.
The 34-year-old player often responds to the abuse directed at him and his family with emojis of black hands.
The abusive comments he received include one fan calling him a “stupid black monkey” and a “slave”.
“Unfortunately, I gave it everything, but [it] was very bad,” he wrote above one insulting post after Thursday’s match.
“Not a good evening, but I hope to come back stronger.”
The French player made his return in Rome after more than six months off court due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
After receiving a first-round bye, he was eliminated 6-2, 6-4 by German qualifier Dominik Koepfer, who is ranked 97th in the world.
“It was really not great,” said Monfils of his last warm-up before the French Open, where he reached the semifinals in 2008.
“It frustrates me enormously to have played so badly.”
The Italian Open is a tune-up tournament for the French Open, which begins tomorrow at Roland Garros in Paris.
The tournament will end on October 11. – AFP