Clay season opens in Europe at the Monte-Carlo Country Club
This Friday, April 14, 2017, was the Official Draw of the highly anticipated 111th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, first European tournament of the clay season in the prestigious ATP World Tour Masters 1000 category. The draw, that changes venue every year, took place at the Jardin Exotique, inaugurated in 1910 by modernist reformer, Prince Albert I, and has wonderful views of the Rock and all Monaco. The competition will run from Saturday April 15 through Sunday, April 23, 2017, at the legendary Monte-Carlo Country Club.
The guest of honor was no other than The King of Clay, World No. 5 Spaniard Rafael Nadal, winner of last year’s tournament, and who will try to conquer a 10th crown, and in the presence of tournament director extraordinaire and former tennis player, the Croatian Zeljko Franulovic, accompanied by Elizabeth-Anne de Massy, President of the Monte-Carlo Country Club and the Monegasque Tennis Federation, her daughter Melanie-Antoinette de Massy, and other distinguished personalities, and members of the local and international media.
The official singles draw (see photo below), offers the possibility of a semifinal between the Spaniard (No.5) who is in his best form since the beginning of the year, and Novak Djokovic (No.2), back from a pause due to injury. On the other half there would be a chance for a duel between Scot Andy Murray, world number 1, who is also returning from injury, and Swiss Stan Wawrinka (no.3), who was the winner in 2015.
Apart from the 45 registered players, including next the generation represented by Sasha Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov, to name a few, there will be others coming from the qualifiers and a few wild cards totalling 56 gladiators to battle on clay for the main trophy. Let the games begin!
Charity exhibition to benefit children
Qualifications start on Saturday, April 15 at 11:00, and the first match will be followed at 13:00 with a charity exhibition benefiting the Association Mondiale des Amis de l’Enfance (AMADE), presided by HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover, through a charity exhibition. Eight players will be participating: Novak Djokovic (No.2), Dominic Thiem (No.8), Marin Cilic (No.9), David Goffin (No.12), Grigor Dimitrov (No.13), Thomas Berdych (No.14), Alexander Zverev (No.20) and his brother Mischa (No.33), grouped in 2 teams of 4 each, that will confront each other in a playful unusual way, with all the proceeds to benefit AMADE.
“I always work with a goal – and the goal is to improve as a player and a person. That, finally, is the most important thing of all.” Rafael Nadal