The Greatest Match on red clay of the Riviera is approaching with relevant strides and it heralds the big return of the public, hoping that there are no new health restrictions. It has always been one of the most anticipated events in the tennis world held in a distinct and classy Country Club, heir to a long tradition dating back to 1897. The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, at its 115th edition, is ready to reaffirm its extremely exciting vocation from the 9th to the 17th April 2022 at the glamorous Monte-Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin district. After the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to pandemic and the unusual 2021 closed-door tournament that was followed, however, by 79 million people through various Media, there was the need for a change. This year’s tournament always part of the ATP Masters 1000 global tour and organized by the Société Monégasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis (S.M.E.T.T.), will see the reborn of a certain normality. These are the auspices expressed by the organizers within the pre-event international press conference hosted at the Monte-Carlo Bay America’s Hall on the 10th February 2022. HelloMonaco was there to collect some insights and search of some sneak previews.
A very efficient health logistic system has been developed, with the valuable support of the Monegasque Government, in order to promote the smooth running of the 2022 tournament both for players and for the audience. Last year’s success was crowned by the victory of the young and talented Stefanos Tsitsipas, with great joy for all his followers. The most popular Greek professional tennis player then will draw straws to determine who will play against whom, within the meeting at the Monte-Carlo Thermes Marins on April the 8th.
The greatest players will be present at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, following the best tradition.
“The final list will be released on the 14th March 2022 but we are confident we can host the best performers. Besides the world’s number one, Novak Djokovic, we are looking for Rafael Nadal, 11 times winner in this tournament and absolute protagonist at the Australia Open”, pointed out Zeljko Franulovic (Z.F.), Director of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Daniil Medvedev, US Open winner and finalist at the Australian Open, Alexander Zverev, Olympic champion and 2021 ATP Masters first-placed, and the reigning Monte-Carlo’s winner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, will join up on the red clay tennis court. Just Roger Federer will ‘sit on the bench’ for being on recovery.
HelloMonaco: Mr Franulovic, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters comes back in the swing, how do you feel about it?
Z.F.: We are almost back to pre-covid times, we had been suffering in the last editions but we have resisted with all our strength. Except for the green pass, there will be no great controls for all visitors. As for players and their staff they are welcome provided that they comply with all ATP sanitary rules including mandatory vaccination, with no exception. The booking service, already working, presents a slight drop in requests due to global uncertainties but we are full of hope to reach 2019 standards.
HelloMonaco: Who do you consider the most promising tennis players, belonging to the new generation?
Z.F.: There are several players in the list. Fognini, Tsitsipas, Medvedev and Zverev are doing really a great job and begin to threaten the podium of the so called ‘ruling trio’. And they are not the only ones. A brand-new generation is coming up like Carlos Alcaraz, Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and many others will join soon the first novel wave.
HelloMonaco: What about Rafael Nadal?
Z.F.: He is one of the most predictable players at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. So, his performance at Monte-Carlo Country Club will be meant to reach the podium once again, and he will leave a mark, as usual.
Andrea Gaudenzi (A.G.), chairman of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), added some comments:
HelloMonaco: What makes the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters so unique?
A.G.: Monaco is always one of the most iconic locations in the ATP world tour and the place where to find extraordinary characters. I have been tied to this challenge since 1993 when I attended the tournament as a professional player. Moreover, my children were born here, so it is special to me. And now I expect a crowded edition with great matches and entertainments on top, like it used to be once!
HelloMonaco: Do you think this challenge will become a driving force both for the Principality and the ATP Tour?
A.G.: Promoting tennis is a prior objective and this discipline is being ranked in the top-four preferred list in almost every Country around the planet. We are very pleased to also have the WTA Women’s championship which encourages a win-win combination. Monaco is one of the locations whose role will be even strengthened, maybe including the WTA itself.
A long applause marked the tribute to the Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy, former President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and the Monte-Carlo Country Club, in the presence of her daughter, Melanie Antoinette de Massy, current President, H.E. Patrice Cellario, Minister of the Interior, Zeljko Franulovic and Andrea Gaudenzi. This was another opportunity to recall Her high personality inaugurated by an iconic ‘Allée’ inside the Country Club in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
The 2022 edition Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters returns to the great splendor with a special surprise to kick off the tournament. An exclusive Mini-Tennis Match will be performed on the Monte-Carlo Casino Square on the 9th April 2022, opposing two of the best players, among the participants. Something not to be missed. Ready to find out who will score the match point in Monte-Carlo?