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Beyond the Baseline

Gael Monfils films French Open crowd doing the Wave during his match

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z_3nmZQJ7I

We have missed you, Gael Monfils.

After winning the third-set tiebreaker on his way to a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory over Ernests Gulbis in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday, Monfils got bored waiting for Gulbis to finish a bathroom break. With the French crowd doing the Wave -- which really needs to stop, by the way -- Monfils grabbed his iPhone and decided to take video of the crowd all the way around the stadium.

https://twitter.com/SI_BTBaseline/status/339772586529542144

"I asked the chair umpire, Am I allowed to tape the Wave?" said Monfils, who got the go-ahead. "So I said, OK, I would tape it quick."

"I didn't see him, but I really don't care what he was doing with his phone or with the crowd," Gulbis said. "What can I do? I played a beautiful point, I have 22 people applauding for me," he said with a laugh, referring to the highly partisan French crowd. "If half of this is your team, [people] you gave tickets before the match, that's not enough. French crowd is French crowd. It's good. It's good for them; bad for us."

When Gulbis returned from his break, the two exchanged a laugh. As Monfils walked past Gulbis' chair he stopped for a chat, and Gulbis offered him a bottle of water, which he declined.

Screengrab from TennisChannel.com Screengrab from TennisChannel.com

I guess after such a pressure-packed third set, in which Monfils squandered a 5-2 lead and saved a break point at 5-5 on a lucky net-cord winner, the two men had to let out the tension some way. Giggling was one way to go, though the whole exchange may not have helped Gulbis' focus. He came out flat in the fourth set, and the relaxed Frenchman ran away with the set and the match. Gulbis attributed his fourth-set fade to fatigue, not head games.

"I came back, and I joked with him," Gulbis said of their exchange. "I told him, 'Please, this set without a net [cord] roll.' He laughed. I didn't hear what he said. No, he didn't get in my head. I really like Gael."

Monfils will play Tommy Robredo in the next round.

Here's video of their giggle session.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HaPpSuujh4
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