Monfils, who is known as Lamonf on tour, made it back into the top 10 after his only year-end top 10 (7) in 2016. Although he again struggled for consistency, he did find enough form throughout the year to secure a top 20 finish for the seventh time. A single title in Rotterdam against Stan Wawrinka was his eight ATP tour victory. A robust US Open was a highlight, going out in a pulsating match that ended in a 5th set tiebreaker to Berrettini in a quarter-final.
I would expect Monfils to contend again for a top 20 spot in 2020. However, at 33 years of age and with a body that has a lot of miles on it, he may struggle to hold the number 10 spot.
Lamonf is usually fun to watch, and this is what comes to mind: athletic, entertaining, injured and frustrating
Athletic: Hard to think of a better athlete on tour than him. Exceptionally quick, fantastic on the stretch and has the best slam dunk smash on tour!
Entertaining: Although he can be deadly serious during a match, he never forgets that there is an audience. He is happy to throw in a tweener or two and some unnecessary acrobatics to win a point and the crowd.
Injured: Sadly, the way he throws himself around the court has seen him on the sidelines more often than he would like. Over the years he has had wrist, knee and shoulder problems.
Frustrating: Can appear very passive and look disengaged during matches. During a contest, Monfils may be up a set and a break and end up losing a three-set battle or go missing for extended periods during a win.
Likes: Monfils is a sound server and returner. Knows how to crank up the forehand power when it suits him. Slam dunk smashes, and crazy tweeners are a speciality!
Dislikes: Monfils does not come forward enough to finish points. Often too passive in general rally play. Relies on his retriever abilities which will only get harder with age.
Areas for improvement: Considering his age and injury troubles, I would like to see him come to net more to close out points. His volleys are sub-par by ATP standards and are probably one of the more natural shots to improve quickly. A little more controlled aggression instead of his usual baseline grind with occasional flashy shot might see him prolong his career. Homework is definitely to watch how the best all-court attacker does it.