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Sport Monfils subjected to racist abuse online after early exit in Rome

03:20  20 september  2020
03:20  20 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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(Reuters) - France's Gael Monfils revealed on Friday that he had been racially abused on Instagram following his early exit at the Italian Open in Rome.

Gael Monfils hitting a ball with a racket on a court: ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships © Reuters/AHMED JADALLAH ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships

Fifth seed Monfils, who had received a bye into the second round, lost 6-2 6-4 to Dominik Koepfer on Thursday after which he received the abusive comments as personal messages, with one fan calling him a "stupid black monkey" and "slave".

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World number nine Monfils, 34, was playing the German, who is ranked 97, in his first match in nearly seven months after the season resumed following the COVID-19 hiatus.

"Unfortunately I gave it everything, but was very bad," Monfils wrote over one of the screenshots where a fan accused him of not trying hard enough. "Not a good evening, but I hope to come back stronger."

"You don't deserve your top 10 ranking," one fan said.

The Italian Open is a tune-up tournament for the French Open which begins on Sept. 27 at Roland Garros.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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