Gael Monfils: Improv and the Human Highlight Reel

If you could see the moment after in the painting above: Monfils hitting the ground running to cover the next shot, which his opponent misses.

If you watch the first two shots in the video below from Tennis TV.

First Shot: The long sprint forward sudden scissors kick leap high in the air while preparing to smack a forehand at his opponent, Sam Querry, who turns and offers his backside, while Monfils, too gentle to hit anyone, softens every fiber in his body and massages a soft looping forehand gently down the line a “thoroughly ridiculous and unnecessary shot and yet it delights.”

Second Shot: Monfils sprinting back for a lob volley over his head while improvising a wild swing and miss at the ball—like a juke in basketball, “you have to love his inventiveness”– then suddenly smacking a ripper tweener back down the line for a winner from 10 feet behind the court. “It’s a Monfils’ special.”

About the Artist: Based in San Francisco, Brian Estill has a BA in Art from San Jose State University. Often working in the area of sports portraiture, he has painted numerous tennis players such as Gael Monfils, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi, and others. His work emphasizes a very colorful and direct approach to his subjects. You can learn more about him and see more of his work on his website.  

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