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Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters: Tsitsipas’ triple crown

Tsitsipas Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Stefanos Tsitsipas won the 117th edition of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali

The Monaco Masters 1000 came to a close at the Monte-Carlo Country Club after a summery weekend. We take a look back at the highlights of the last two days of competition. 

The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the ATP circuit. Played on clay, it is eagerly anticipated by tennis players and fans alike, particularly given its setting, considered to be one of the finest in the world. After a rather grey start to the tournament, conditions were ideal this weekend, with perfectly clear skies on the Rainier-III court

© Communications Department / Manuel Vitali

Saturday’s semi-finals

First match of the day and what a line-up, with Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRC) taking on Jannik Sinner (ITA) in front of a full house. The two players had already met eight times in their careers, with Tsitsipas winning five times and Sinner three. Ten places separated them in the ATP rankings. The Greek player was ranked 12th in the world, and the Italian 2nd.

Although most of the crowd seemed to be behind the Italian, no doubt due to the tournament’s location, it was Tsitsipas who won the first semi-final. The match lasted 2 hours 40 minutes and was played over three sets, 6-4, 3-6 and 6-4.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas played Jannik Sinner © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali

Then came the second semi-final, with world number 1 Novak Djokovic (SRB) taking on Casper Ruud (NOR), ranked 6th in the world, as the sun slowly began to set on the Country Club. This was a major challenge for the young Norwegian, as he hadn’t won any of his eleven matches against top 3 players since the start of his career. And in five meetings with the Serb, he had failed to win a single set.

Despite these unfavourable odds, the “Djoker” failed to rattle Ruud, who played confidently in the semi-final. After 2 hours 17 of relatively indecisive rallies, the Scandinavian took the match in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

Novak Djokovic took on Casper Ruud © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali

Sunday’s final

The summery weather held strong and the stands were full as the Monegasque national anthem played on the Rainier-III court. On the final day of the prestigious Rolex Monte-Carlo Master, the two good friends and finalists Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud were going to fight for the title.

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With Tsitsipas getting off to a flying start and Ruud fighting to hang on until the last point, it was the Greek player who decisively won his third Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo in just two sets and 1 hour 36 minutes: 6-1, 6-4. Perhaps red is his luck colour, between his outfit and the clay court… either way, this is his first title of the year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali
Stefanos Tsitsipas © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali

At just 25, Stefanos Tsitsipas is the fifth player to win the Monaco tournament at least three times, along with Borg (3), Nastase (3), Muster (3) and Nadal (11). The win also moved him up 5 places in the ATP rankings and into the top 10, 7th in the world to be precise.

Emirates has been the official carrier of the ATP Tour since 2013 and the main partner of the ATP World Tour since 2016. For Cédric Renard, Managing Director of Emirates in France, sport is “a way to connect with the local community and share the Emirates experience”.

Emirates aircraft are equipped with televisions so that passengers can follow the competitions live. “We’ve always invested heavily in sport because of the way it brings people together and stirs emotions. It’s also a way for us to invest locally”, adds Cédric Renard.

Emirates and Nice Côte d’Azur Airport celebrate 30 years together

Some famous faces in the crowd

As every year, Prince Albert II honoured the competition with his presence over the weekend, attending matches and the prize-giving ceremony, where he personally congratulated the two finalists. With him, Princess Charlene, Hereditary Prince Jacques and the Prince’s cousin Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy (President of the Monte-Carlo Country Club and the Monegasque Tennis Federation) watched the grand final, along with Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie’s children.

The Princely Family with the finalists- © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali

Many other well-known figures were also in attendance over the weekend:

  • Princess Alexandra of Hanover  and Ben-Sylvester Strautmann
  • Pauline Ducruet, with her brother Louis and sister-in-law Marie Ducruet.
  • The famous actress Zendaya Coleman, here to promote Challengers, a film in which she plays a former tennis prodigy.
  • Monegasque Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, with Alexandra Saint Mleux, had a chat with Tsitsipas on court after the final.
  • British Formula 1 driver George Russell with  Carmen Montero Mundt.
  • British Formula 2 driver Oliver Bearman.
  • Former Italian international footballer Francesco Totti.
Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, at home © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali
Formula 1 driver George Russell © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali