PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 29: Gael Monfils of France chases the ball during his men's singles match against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany on day five of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Paris - Flying Frenchman Gael Monfils became an internet sensation on Friday after a spectacular diving attempt to reach a ball at Roland Garros.

Facing Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff for a third round berth, Monfils leapt to his right in a brave but fruitless effort to retrieve a return.

Monfils was airborne and parallel with the ground on the Philippe Chatrier court as his body, racquet and ball went flying.

“It was not a great dive, you know. I think it was 5 out of 10,” joked the 27-year-old.

“Between you and me, I'm not stupid because when you dive it's hard ground on the floor. I'm not Iron Man. So I'm happy people like it, but I'm not doing that to show off.”

Monfils, the 23rd seed beat Struff 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1 and next plays colourful Italian Fabio Fognini of Italy.