Plenty of action on central court
The public filled up the bleachers in all the courts of the legendary Monte-Carlo Country Club from the first matches on Monday, April 16, 2018, under sunny skies, to watch interesting matches with players like Serb Novak Djokovic, Japanese Kei Nishikori, or even Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, finalist of the 2017 edition.
Ramos Vinoles (No. 15) who opened the ball on court Rainier III (former Central Court), defeating the USA hope Jared Donaldson, that he had dominated in 3 sets during the first round of the Australian Open, in two straight sets (6-3 6-3), in a little more than 1 and 1/2 hours. (Photo: Albert Ramos Vinoles @CelinaLafuentedeLavotha)
The Spaniard said after the match: “I am very happy to be back in Monaco, to play in this fantastic competition. I have many memories from last year. I am relieved to having won easily today, because a first match is always a particular moment. I hope I will continue playing as well as last year.”
Czech Tomas Berdych (No.12) lost in the first tour to Japanese Kei Nishikori who was a former world No. 5 but has descended to the 36thplace, after a wrist injury that kept him away from the courts for several months. Nishikori imposed himself in 3 sets, in spite of having to call the doctor two times due to continuous wrist pain.
Nishikori said: “It is a very good debut. I hope I can continue like this. I am very happy to be back in this great tournament, six years after my first participation. And with a very nice revenge over Thomas. The beginning of the match was difficult but in the 2ndand 3rdsets, my reflexes returned.”
The public welcomed Novak Djokovic very enthusiastically on his first day on Court Rainier III, and the former world No. 1 did not disappoint them by doing away with countryman Dusan Lujovic in two straight sets 6-0 6-1. He looked full of confidence, and dressed in red and white to honor the country where he has been a resident for some time. In the best possible French Djokovic told commentator Marc Maury : « It is really great to start the tournment like this. I come out of a very difficult period. Today, it was difficult to play against my friend, but I am very happy of the way I played with lots of concentration. »
The Serb will be facing 21-year–old Croatian Borna Coric in the next round, who defeated 36-years-old French Julien Benneteau, who played his last competition in Monte-Carlo, in two sets 6-2 6-2, in just a few minutes over an hour, and is a member of the ATP Next-Gen.
Djokovic is getting on track possibly thanks to going back to his longtime coach Marian Vajda, after saying goodbye to both Agassi and Stepanek. Everybody thought Nole would have no coach for some of the upcoming competitions, but instead he rehired his old coach. The Serb had separated from Vajda at the same time he had fired his fitness trainer and physiotherapist, but he retained him as advisor. After having worked together for more than 10 years, maybe Vajda will help him get back to the higher level he was.
On the last match on central court 19-year-old qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas, current Greek No. 1 (and former Junior No. 1), defeated Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who had celebrated his 19thbirthday in Monte-Carlo this past Sunday, in two straight sets 6-3 6-4. The Greek will be facing David Goffin (No.6) on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The exchanges between these two young players were fantastic, but it was Tsitsipas who showed he has what it takes to go further in the tournament.
Monegasque hope Lucas Catarina took Raonic to 3 sets!
The 21-year-old Monegasque hope Lucas Catarina (ranked ATP 365), who received a wild card, debuted at the tournament facing Canadian Milos Raonic (ATP 14). Lucas entered the court very confident, fought hard and managed to claim the first set 3-6, but the experienced higher ranked Canadian ended up coming back to win the second and third 6-2 6-3 in a battle of over 2 hours. Lucas said: “I come out of this match vey disappointed. I believed I could win after winning the fist set, but physically this match was difficult. It is the first time I played at this level. But this defeat will be useful for the future.” This is only the beginning for the young Monegasque and we will see more of him in tournaments to come. Vamos Lucas!
Results for all matches on Monday, April 16, 2018
Program of matches for Tuesday, April 17, 2018
If you go to Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel reserve the Suite Rafael Nadal
In the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and the Baronne Elizabeth Ann de Massy, President of the Organizing Committee of the Tournament, the group Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer, presided by Jean-Luc Biamonti, inaugurated the Suite Rafael Nadal, No. 1029, that has the imprint of a tennis legend, a world No. 1, that he himself chose for his stays in the Principality. The Suite is 92 sqm, with a wonderful sea view, elegant, and above all inspired on the image of the champion and his sportive universe, decorated with objects that marked his unique carrier, with a racquet, a t-shirt and tennis shoes that helped him win, plus photos immortalizing his 10 Monegasque victories.
“Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.”Novak Djokovic