Tennis ace Mon­fils suf­fers abuse

CityPress - - Tenders -

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

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