Sports Digest: Monfils withdraws from French Open with heel injury

TENNIS

Gael Monfils withdrew from the French Open on Monday because of an injury to his right heel that will require minor surgery.

Monfils, France’s highest-ranked player at No. 22, said he has been hampered by the lesion in his foot since the Monte Carlo Masters in April, adding that he can’t move properly on court.

The 35-year-old veteran also withdrew from this week’s Lyon Open, which serves as a warm-up event for the clay-court Grand Slam.

The French Open starts on Sunday.

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Monfils’ wife, Elina Svitolina, will also skip Roland Garros, where she reached the quarterfinals three times. Mental strain led to the former third-ranked Ukrainian’s decision to take a break from tennis.

On Sunday, Monfils and Svitolina announced that they are expecting their first child, a girl, in October.

GENEVA OPEN: Two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem is still without a win in an injury-affected season after another first-round exit on in his last tournament before Roland Garros.

Thiem, ranked no. 194, was beaten by No. 134 Marco Cecchinato 6-3, 6-4.

The loss dropped Thiem’s ​​record to 0-5 in 2022, all on clay courts. He returned in April from a 10-month absence because of a right wrist injury that prevented him from defending his 2020 US Open title.

Earlier on Geneva’s center court, Richard Gasquet beat John Millman 6-3, 6-1 to earn a second-round match against top-seeded Daniil Medvedev on Tuesday.

The No. 2-ranked Medvedev got a wild card after six weeks out to have hernia surgery. The final in Geneva is on Saturday, one day before the French Open starts.

ATP: The Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments were spared punishment from the ATP for banning Russian and Belarussian players.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted the British Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club – the host of Wimbledon – in April to bar players from Russia and its war ally Belarus from the coming British grass-court season.

The ATP and WTA objected at the time.

On Monday, the ATP said “Queen’s and Eastbourne will proceed as normal, offering full ATP ranking points.”

The governing body of the men’s tour added it consulted with its player and tournament councils. The likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were against the ban, while Sergiy Stakhovsky, the retired Ukraine Davis Cup player who joined the military when the war started, supported it.

SOCCER

ENGLAND: English soccer player Jake Daniels said he is gay in a trailblazing moment for the European men’s game.

The 17-year-old forward made the announcement at the end of his first season as a professional player with second division club Blackpool.

“This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch,” he said in a statement. “But off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.

“It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality.”

While women’s soccer features many prominent LGBTQ + players, the men’s professional game lacks players who are publicly gay and has seemed to have even hostile attitudes in locker rooms.


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