French tennis star Gael Monfils often brings down the house with his wild shots, a reputation for which he has often been termed the “Flying Frenchman”.
In his first-round win at the US Open on Monday, the Frenchman’s play brought down a panel along the back of Court 17, instead. Trying to chase an overhead, Monfils went leaping into the wall to attempt to reach the ball.
His right foot kicked a clock apparatus, and a moment later as he was reaching down to pick up his racket, the whole panel tumbled forward, spilling out wires from behind and clipping the back of his heels.
Monfils was feeling fortunate afterwards that he hadn’t been seriously injured. The digital panel was in worse shape from the collision, with the pieces all askew.
Asked if he had realised how hard he hit the wall, Monfils said: “When you are in the moment you don’t feel really anything. Just jump.”
The 10th-seeded Monfils went on to beat Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (5) to book a second-round clash against Jan Satral of the Czech Republic.