If there’s anything better than tennis, it’s tennis set in Monte Carlo. This year’s Rolex Monte Carlo Masters took place April 14th – 21st, and attendees are still recovering from all the excitement. The Monte Carlo Country Club played host to the tournament, and the ATP Masters 1000 took the stage in an unforgettable manner.
Heart-pounding moments, dramatic storylines, and fervent champions lay in the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters’ wake, with fun surprises like the success of Fabio Fognini. On Sunday the 21st, Fabio became the first Italian to win the ATP Masters 1000 title. It was the biggest victory of the 31 year-old’s career, and no doubt, the folks of Italy are raising a toast to their hero’s return. Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal played well, but they couldn’t stop Fognini from taking home the crown.
Over the past 17 years, there have been 8 players that have taken the Masters 1000 title. In the past, Fognini had only reached the No. 12 spot. No player has ever overtaken Nadal on a clay court since Pablo Cuevas did in Rio de Janeiro, 2016.
Not only are the Italians overjoyed, but the Croatians are having a bit of a party of their own. Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor were the first Croatian doubles team to take home a trophy from the clay courts of Monte Carlo. Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof fought to the end, but the 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 11-9 victory was imminent.
Speaking of victory, Dusan Lajovic also deserves a bit of boasting. Earning a position in the Top 5, the Serbian managed to win out over Malek Jaziri, David Goffin, Dominic Thiem, Lorenzo Sonego, and Daniil Medvedev.
The Legend Returns
No discussion of the Monte Carlo Masters is complete without speaking of the legend, Rafael Nadal. The 11-time champion managed to knock Roberto Bautista Agut, Grigor Dimitrov, and Guido Pella out of the way, before letting his star fall to Fognini. It was only his fifth defeat at the Monte Carlo Country Club. Although he didn’t win the war against Fognini, there was more competition for Nadal in the form of Guido Pella.
Back to the Italians. Qualifier Lorenzo Sonego reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final after upsetting Cameron Norrie, Karen Khachanov, and Andreas Seppi. He managed to reach a career-high at No. 66.
Perhaps one of the most touching moments of the tournament came from Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Upon his defeat of Fernando Verdaso, the 28 year-old did not merely sign his name for the television cameras to see. Herbert wrote the name of ‘Notre Dame’ with a broken heart below it. The tragic burning of Notre Dame took place on Monday the 15th. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal also expressed their sadness to the assembled media.
A Royal Affair
H.S.H Prince Albert II invited some key players to the Royal Palace of Monaco during the Masters. Most notably, he welcomed Nadal, Djokovic, Medvedev, and many others, including: Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Mischa Zverev, and David Goffin. Monaco also enjoyed a fun-filled charity exhibition hosted by Stan Wawrinka and Thiem. All proceeds benefitted the Monaco Red Cross.
Still Time To Visit Monte Carlo!
Even if you missed the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters this year, there’s still plenty of reasons why you should book a trip to fabulous Monte Carlo! The name is synonymous with glamour and wealth. Modern Monte Carlo is a tax-free municipality surrounded by France and the Maritime Alps. This cliffside Mediterranean port has been a rich vacation destination for over 150 years.
When traveling to Monte Carlo, be sure to visit the Casino de Monte Carlo, as well as the 19th century Romanesque-Byzantine Cathedrale de Monaco. This was the final resting place of Princess Grace. Explore the delightfully colorful Jardin Exotique, then take a stroll through Monaco Ville, the old town otherwise known as Le Rocher and home to the Grimaldis’ royal residence.
You might be asking yourself when is the best time to go. Since Monaco enjoys a Mediterranean climate, there’s no bad time to visit Monte Carlo! Keep in mind that peak tourist season is July through August, so be ready for some pretty big crowds. If you like sports, the Formula 1 Grand Prix is not to be missed. If you want to escape the crowds, simply head to the beach and bring a chair. Other highlights include dinner at the Sea Lounge, and unparalleled shopping at Espace Mirage.