Best show in town opens in style
On Saturday April 12, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament of the year organized the draw ceremony in the magnificent Salle Garnier in the presence of the defending champion the Serbian and Monaco resident Novak Djokovic, his coach “Baron von slam” Boris Becker, of Mr Zeljko Franulovic, tournament’s director, Mrs Elizabeth-Ann de Massy, president of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and of the Tournament Committee, plus other dignitaries. It was a glamorous backdrop very fitting for the kick off of the first show in town! When “Djoker” the defending champion took the coveted trophy in his hands for a photo during the draw, he said smiling: “I am holding the cup already so I do not need to play.”
Gladiators meet on clay
Rafael Nadal (N°1), who is in top form and ready to reclaim the title for a record ninth time after having been defeated last year by his long-time contender Novak Djokovic, happen to be in the same side of the draw as the Australian open champion, Stanislas Wawrinka (N°30). Rafa will open his crusade against Gilles Simon or a qualifier and there is a chance he may meet his countryman David Ferrer (N°5) in the quarterfinals or Bulgaria’s top tennis player Grigor Dimitrov who was seen training with close friend Djokovic last week. While Wawrinka will not have an easy opener against the winner of a first-round clash between Croatian Marin Cilic, who won two titles this season, and the Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. If victorious the Swiss might then face eighth seed Milos Raonic from Canada in the quarterfinals. At the bottom half of the draw, Novak Djokovic (N°2), who is surely planning to win his fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in a row, could meet Roger Federer (N°4) on a semi-final clash which would be their third battle this year. But that would happen only if “Nole” the leader of the pack is able to do away with Czech Tomas Berdych (N°6) in quarterfinals. Like Federer the Czech was last seen in Monte-Carlo in 2011, and he will have to meet Radek Stepanek or Ivo Karlovic in his opener and could meet the “chouchou” of France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (N°9) in the quarterfinals. The Frenchman known as “Tsunami” got a bye after Richard Gasquet was forced to retire due to back pain.
These gladiators as well as all the other players in the tournament will participate in the ATP program “Aces for Charity” that this year will support the Princess Charlene Foundation selected among several humanitarian organizations, honoring the commitment of H.S.H. Princess Charlene to the cause of underprivileged children.
Launch party at Zelo’s
Melanie-Antoinette Costello de Massy, cousin of Prince Albert II and daughter of Baronne Elizabeth-Ann de Massy (President of the Tournament Committee and President of the Monte-Carlo Country Club), invited the players and other VIP’s from the Principality and abroad to an exclusive party at fashionable Zelo’s Restaurant, sponsored notably by Bentley, Moet Hennessey and MacMas among others. In a relaxed and festive atmosphere, we were able to visit with the players who did not stay long as they are required go to bed early to get ready for a tough week of matches played by 74 warriors. Not an easy task so everybody needs to be in top form! Let the games begin!
Stay tuned for more news from the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters!