Bryan Bros dynamic duo won the doubles
On Sunday, April 19, central court at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters opened with the Doubles match between World No. 1 American pair Mike and Bob Bryan against Italian duo Simone Bollelli / Fabio Fognini. The 36-year-old “Mirror Twins”, Mike is right handed and Bob is a lefty, claimed victory for the 5th time at this Masters tournament beating the Italians 7/6(3), 6/1 in a little more than an hour. “We’re happy to have another great week in beautiful Monte-Carlo,” said Bob Bryan. “It was cool that our friend, Prince Albert, could watch our last two matches. It’s been a pleasure to get to know him over the years and he always gives us great support.” With 34 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles under their belt, they will be competing in a couple of weeks in Madrid.
Bolelli and Fognini, who had a chance to taking the first set but lost it in the tie-break, received the runners up trophies. The pair are currently the race leaders to be eligible for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after winning at the Australian Open defeating Herbert/Mahut.
Central Court renamed Court Rainier III Prince of Monaco
After the doubles match and precisely at 14:15 the twenty-two Prince’s carabineers entered the central court to the rhythm of drums. It was a unique and emotional event specially arranged for the ceremony of unveiling of a plaque by HSH Prince Albert II honoring his father HSH Prince Rainier III who passed away a decade ago on April 6, 2005. The Prince was accompanied by his cousin Mme Elizabeth-Anne de Massy, President of the Monte-Carlo Country Club, and her daughter Melanie Antoinette de Massy. The famous central court at the MCCC will now bear the name Court Rainier III.
Djoko takes the main trophy, the points and the bounty
The emotional ceremony was immediately followed by the presentation of the Singles finalists Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych, both Monaco residents. Once the flag bearers for Monaco, Serbia and Czech Repubilc left, the players took the court for their final match, where World No. 1 Djokovic, better known as Nole, defeated Wold No. 8 Czech Berdych in three sets 75, 46, 63 in a hard fought battle that lasted 2 hours and 43 minutes.
As Djoko was the favorite, including the bookmakers, everybody thought it was going to be a walk in the park for him (or walk on the clay to be precise) but it was not! The Czech was on attacking mood and played great taking lots of risks, but lost a tight first set. At 3-2 in favor of Djoko in the second set, play was stopped due to rain and the red clay turned to green as it was covered. When play was resumed it was Berdych who claimed the set, so the fans were ready for the continuation of the fight on the third set where Berdych made too many faults and Djoko closed easily to assert his victory. The Serb took the main trophy plus Euro 628,100, and 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points. He won his 23rd ATP Masters 1000 title and his 52nd overall. Vamos Nole! Second string Berdych also received a silver trophy tray plus Euro 308,000 and 600 ranking points.
The Trophy Ceremony
Press Conference with Zeljko Franulovic & Prizes for the Press
In the morning Zeljko Franulovic, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament director extraordinaire, met the local and international press to thank them for their participation and make a few points about the competition.
Zeljko underlined that 15 out of 16 top ranked players were present in the eighth finals, something that had never happened in a Masters 1000. Furthermore, attendance beat all records for a total of 134.795 spectators over 9 days against 131.472 last year, confirming the attraction of this very well organised tournament.
The conference was followed by the Prize Ceremony for the Press Photo Contest 2014, organised very professionally by Alain Manigly. The selected photos are included in a booklet entitled “The Best of “Collector”, and this was the 108th edition. I am proud to report that I joined some of my colleagues in receiving a prize, and ten of my photos appear in the book that is distributed to players and sponsors. Members of the press who participated in the Press Tennis tournament also received prizes. Congratulations to all!
Mark your calendars for the next Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters scheduled for April 9-17, 2016. See you there!
Today’s tennis quote
«I’m trying not to pay too much attention to the rankings because calculations can distract you.» Novak Djokovic