Gaël Monfils hailed rival Novak Djokovic as a legend of the game ahead of his Rolex Paris Masters opener.

In 17 years on tour, Monfils is yet to overcome the world No. 1 in 17 meetings, and feels his reputation is untarnished despite his US Open near-miss at the Calendar Year Grand Slam.

"He’s a legend of tennis,” Monfils said. “He lost against Daniil [Medvedev] who played extremely well. He hasn’t lost a lot of matches. He’s No. 2 worldwide. So as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t change anything.”


Medvedev captured his first major title in New York, snapping Djokovic’s 27-match winning streak at Grand Slam tournaments with a straight-set victory, and still has a shot at ending the 2021 season ranked No. 1.

"Both players have great level. Novak is still Novak,” Monfils said. “He’s still a fantastic player. He’s won three Grand Slams. He’s still the same. He only lost to the second player, the second-ranked player."

Djokovic is back on tour for the first time since the US Open and will take on Marton Fucsovics in singles after winning a doubles clash with countryman Filip Krajinovic. The Serbs slipped past Alex de Minaur and Luke Saville in a match tiebreak to book a meeting with No. 6 seeds Filip Polasek and John Peers.