Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe – Canadian Frank Dancevic had a plan to try to slay the giant that is Gaël Monfils of France.
The problem was, the mercurial, brilliantly talented Frenchman didn't give him an opportunity to execute it.
Monfils, seemingly more impervious to the heat and humidity than his Canadian counterpart, had little trouble in dispatching Dancevic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 to give France a 1-0 lead on the first day of their World Group first-round tie.
"I had one game plan going in there and it was go to go for my shots the whole match. I was either going to make it or break it; I wasn't going to sit back there and have long rallies with him the whole match. He played extremely well; he was there on everything and was reading me really well from the baseline," Dancevic said. "I got some free points at the begining on my serve, but after the third game of the first he started reading my serve really well and a lot more balls were coming back."
"I felt like he did both things well, defence and offence out there today."
Dancevic downplayed the effect of the weather conditions. But he already looked red-faced and overheated after the first set. By the end of the second, he had a bag of ice on his head in addition to an ice vest. He said he felt better in the third set, when the conditions cooled briefly and the two even played through a little bit of rain.
But Monfils was as serious as a heart attack throughout. He was already leaping and pumping his fist by the third game of the first set. His serious demeanour didn't break until the match was over, at which point he broke into a big smile to salute the large crowd.
Dancevic's teammate, Vasek Pospisil, followed him into the court to play the French No. 2, Gilles Simon.