Gael Monfils could not contain his joy at winning his French Open first-round match on Tuesday.
The French showman whose 2021 season has been a disaster to date, broke through for a win over Albert Ramon-Vinolas 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4,.
Of six previous matches this season, the 34-year-old had claimed just one victory.
But that all changed on the Suzanne Lenglen showcase at Roland Garros.
“It was incredible, even if it was not a full crowd (Limited to 1,000 by COVID restrictions) it was enough to make a decent spirit,” the winner said.
“I could feel their energy. Every day I’m working to be on the big stage like that with a crowd.
“As I always say: ‘You give to them, they give back.’ Sometimes it’s them to give to you and you give back to them, it’s an exchange.”
After reaching the second round on his first match point, an overjoyed Monfils pounded his chest in pride as he gestured to fans.
“I’m so happy, I cannot be happier than this.”
The Frenchman said the comeback success was inspired by the fans.
“It was special the way I was missing them. I struggled at the beginning, couldn’t really find my range, couldn’t find my timing. My legs legs were not moving enough.
“Slowly I got inside of the match, made it tough, made work for Albert.
“I was more relaxed – it was a better Gael Monfils today.”