Monte-Carlo Review

The Monte Carlo Country Club, where dreams are made in one of the most beautiful picturesque settings in world tennis. The best in men’s tennis come to Monaco to kick off their clay court season in style, despite no crowds we saw memories made, unexpected results and a new champion.

Stefanos Tsitsipas “It all start from Monte-Carlo”

Where better to begin than with the man that won it all, Stefanos Tsitsipas. A wonderful week of tennis which brought a smile to my face, I am a big fan of the Greek and I have loved watching him but this season there has been a no-nonsense feeling and an intensity I like with his game.

In the final against Rublev I did think it was one of his most complete performances, his forehand was a joke, he seems very on-top of his game right now and I’m excited for the coming weeks and months.

Winning in Monte-Carlo felt bigger than hit ATP Finals win in 2019, the pressure was ramping up on him and he delivered at the sight his mum won the juniors event in 1981.

Stefanos Tsitsipas wins his first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo

Is the lack of tennis since Melbourne the reason behind Djokovic & Nadal’s exit?

Are we at a stage now where in their respective careers Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal can’t turn up to an event having not played for 2 months and expect to win it?

As you get older we do see players plan their schedules a bit better and this is the case for both but that gap from Melbourne to Monte-Carlo and you can argue that gap after Wimbledon before Cincinnati needs bridging I feel if they want to win these Masters event.

You cannot tell me they would be happy with what happened this week?

Nadal – way off the pace, serve and double faults a problem and the backhand was bizarre.

Djokovic – A bit flat, lacking intensity which to me has dipped having not played for 2 months.

I agree players should play their own schedule and especially during these times shouldn’t be pressured to be at an event but I felt coming underprepared into Monte-Carlo wasn’t a good idea and it proved to be that.

Dan Evans remarkable run!

Probably the story of the tournament, the man who had not won a match on clay for four years and just four in his career made it to the final four in the singles and was runner-up in the doubles with Neal Skupski.

His performances were so good it was great to watch the Brit play like this on the clay, he defeated some of the best in mens tennis and did it not playing too differently to how he plays. Dan used his backhand slice perfectly during the week especially against Djokovic in a week that saw him defeat:

Lajovic, Djokovic, Goffin & Hurkacz.

Dan Evans delighted in Monte-Carlo, we’ve seen his strengths on hard courts mirror on clay this week and is this the start for Dan on clay?

Casper and Alejandro will be back following impressive run

Two players who also had a good week were Casper Ruud and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Both will have a lot to say on the clay courts in the coming years and hopefully on a whole throughout the season.

I like Casper Ruud, I do feel like his game could do with refining slightly, there seems to be a lack of consistency from match to match in his groundstrokes but he found consistency on clay following his first title last year and now back to back Masters 1000 quarter finals on clay.

Alejandro has done most of his talking on the clay courts and continues to do so. His run to the final eight was magnificent, the shame for him though was that injury forced him to retire down 5-7 to Tsitsipas.

Hurkacz’s press conference

Someone who’s Monte-Carlo was over almost quicker than his press conference following his first round win was Hubert Hurkacz.

Hubert did fall against Dan Evans in round two but after his round one win was requested by press for questions and no one asked him a question…

All jokes aside, it was quite disrespectful to the guy who just became a Masters 1000 champion for the first time in Miami.

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