European season first major clay competition
On Thursday, March 21, 2019, on board yacht L’Excellence, in Paris, tournament director Zeljko Franulovic, unveiled the list of 45 tennis players for the 113thedition of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, organized from April 13-21, 2019 by SMETT (Societe Monegasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis). This is traditionally the first major tournament of the European season to be played on the clay courts of the mythical Monte-Carlo Country Club, following the two first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in the United States.
Main Draw at Monte-Carlo Bay in the presence of Nadal
The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters will kick off with the players’ Main Draw in the lush Mediterranean gardens of the Monte-Carlo Bay & Resort, the official tournament hotel, on Friday, April 12 at 18:30, in the presence of defending champion the Rafael Nadal. The Spanish had conquered his 11th crown in 2018 on the Monaco clay courts before going to win in Barcelona, Madrid and, above all, his 11th title at Roland Garros. Nadal has won it a record 11 times and held a 46-match winning streak at Monte-Carlo from 2005-2013 – the most consecutive wins at a tournament by any man or woman.
Last Saturday, the 32-year-old World No. 2 withdrew from his semi-final at Indian Wells against archrival Roger Federer after feeling pain in his bothersome right knee during the quarter-final against Karen Khachanov. He proceeded to skip the hard-court Miami Open, which began this week, to prepare for his season on clay and expects to make his return at the Monte-Carlo Masters.
ATP top-ranked players will battle on clay
Heading the list are Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, world ranked 1 and 2, as well as no. 3 Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem no. 4, the recent winner of Indian Wells, followed by Kei Nishikori no. 6, Kevin Anderson no. 7 and all the best French players, led by Gaël Monfils, Lucas Pouille and Jo- Wilfred Tsonga who have all confirmed their excellent form since the Australian Open.
Also not to be forgotten is the young, upcoming generation with Stefanos Tsitsipas no. 10 and Karen Khachanov no. 12.
In all, 25 out of the 30 best world players will be in Monte-Carlo this year.
The Main Draw will also include 7 players from the qualifying rounds and 4 wild cards.
Tennis exhibition to benefit Monaco Red Cross
Pursuing its charity and humanitarian commitment, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is organizing an event for the benefit of the Monaco Red Cross, on Court Rainier III, on Saturday, April 13, with the participation of the best tournament players committed to supporting the actions of this world-renowned humanitarian association.
Entertainment on and off the courts
It will be an exciting week on the courts and the bleachers, with many animations, such as the Kid’s Day, on Sunday, April 14, the traditional Grand Night of Tennis, in the Salle des Etoiles on Friday, April 19 at 20:30, or the very private evening for the players, that remains as exclusive event of this tournament for more than 60 years.
“Losing is not my enemy…fear of losing is my enemy.”Rafael Nadal