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US OPEN SCENE: Measure for measure - Monfils' double-faults make him wonder about net's height

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - As Gael Monfils hit ball after ball into the net during his first service game Friday at the U.S. Open — resulting in four double-faults — a thought occurred to him: "Seems pretty high, huh?"

So after getting broken to fall behind 2-0, Monfils figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out for himself.

The rules of tennis call for the net to be 3 feet (91.4 centimetres) tall in the middle, and Monfils walked up and held his hand atop the white tape. He drew a chuckle from chair umpire Gianluca Moscarella by wondering aloud whether the net was set up properly.

"I asked him, like, 'Are you sure?'" Monfils said later.

And Moscarella's response?

"He said, 'You should kiss the net and it should be better after,'" Monfils recalled with a smile.

Monfils wasn't bothered by the chair umpire's reluctance to measure the net.

"I trust him, because I know they do it before and between the sets," the Frenchman said.

The 20th-seeded Monfils wound up with 10 double-faults in all, but that did not prevent him from beating Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows for the first time since a quarterfinal run in 2010.

Next up is a match against another Frenchman, 12th-seeded Richard Gasquet.

Perhaps Monfils should bring a tape measure.

— By Howard Fendrich, http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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U.S. Open Scene follows tennis' hard-court Grand Slam tournament in New York as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day.

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