Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters: Djokovic and Tsitsipas aim a third title in Monaco
The draw for the 116th edition of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters took place today in the presence of Stefanos Tsitsipas, two-time title holder. The Greek is aiming for a third title this year at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. The task is going to be difficult as this 116th edition should be particularly challenging.
Stefanos Tsitsipas came to the Belle Epoque room of the Hôtel Hermitage in a relaxed and elegant manner to take part in the draw, surrounded by Miss Melanie-Antoinette de Massy, President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and the Monte-Carlo Country Club, Andrea Gaudenzi, President of the ATP, David Massey, new Director of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Stéphane Apostolou, tournament referee and Marc Maury, official announcer.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No.2 seed, helped place the seeds in the draw, only letting Hubert Hurkacz’s No.10 chip slip from his powerful hands and into the hands of No.1 Novak Djokovic. The Serb, who was eliminated in the second round last year by surprise finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and is hungry for more tennis after missing the US swing, will make his debut against the winner of the all-US Brandon Nakashima-Mackenzie McDonald duel.
The world number one could then face the Italian talents Lorenzo Musetti and then Jannik Sinner, unless the young Monegasque player and wild card winner Valentin Vacherot upsets everything at home. The other big names in this first part of the draw are Daniil Medvedev, the man in form (4 titles in 2023), who will have to try to manage the often delicate transition from hard court to clay; Alexander Zverev, back on clay for the first time since his serious ankle injury in the semi-finals of the French Open last year; and the young Dane Holger Rune, winner of the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy.
The draw looks more open for Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second half. The Greek will start against either Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi or Spaniard Zapata Miralles, with Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud, Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev as the top seeds in his section. “It’s the first tournament on clay, so it’s always a special moment,” commented Tsitsipas. “Especially when you play at home. To do the hat-trick and join those who have done it in the hall of fame would be a dream come true.”
While waiting to know the placement and identity of the seven players from the qualifying rounds, which begin at 11am on Saturday, some of the first round matches are already attracting attention: Diego Schwartzman-David Goffin for classicism, Maxime Cressy-Matteo Berrettini for fighting spirit, Richard Gasquet-Dominic Thiem for aesthetics, or Alex De Minaur-Andy Murray for endurance.
Another highlight of tomorrow’s event is the mini-tennis exhibition between Novak Djokovic, who has just regained his place as world number 1, and Jannik Sinner, finalist of the Miami Open. This exhibition, open to all, will be held at Larvotto, Place Anne-Marie Campora (Rose des Vents level), on Saturday 8 April at noon.