The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters has been held at the beautiful Monte-Carlo Country Club for more than 110 years. It is the first major ATP circuit event on European clay and belongs to the prestigious ATP World Tour Masters 1000 category. It has always been characterized by its elegance and refinement even though the space is a bit cramped for obvious geographical reasons: the territory is a narrow strip of land on the Côte d’Azur at the foot of the Alps.
The tradition of this tournament is closely linked to the royal family of Monaco, with the Centre court now being named after the late Rainier III, important Monarch of the principality and father of the current prince. Every year the royal family, led by Prince Albert II, attends the final stages of the tournament from the Royal Box dedicated to them and meets the players participating in the tournament before the start and after the end of the event.
Like the whole of the Principality of Monaco, the tournament is strongly influenced by the luxury and reputation of the place; in fact, several evenings are held during the week of the tournament involving not only the players, but also those who usually live life in the streets of Monte-Carlo. The correlation with the world of luxury is evident through the numerous sponsor flagship stores selling in the Club during the tournament, and the fact that the main sponsor is the famous watch brand Rolex. In fact, the Swiss watch brand has been supporting the tournament for many years to the point that its name is even included in the official name of the competition.
It was only fitting for the 100th edition of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to culminate in a final between two greats: World No. 1 at the time, Roger Federer and defending champion, Rafael Nadal. At the height of their rivalry, Nadal and Federer met 15 times in a three-year period (2006-2008). In the 2006 final, arguably the highest quality of their three Monte Carlo finals, Nadal had to dig deep to extend his winning streak on clay to 42 games, beating Federer 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 over three hours and 49 minutes. “It was a really incredible day for me,” said Nadal. “It is special to start the earth season like this. Beating Roger in the final is even more special, it’s fantastic. “
For anyone who has been to see the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in their lifetime, it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that cannot be relived at any other tournament in the world.