20 out of 20

20 out of 20: The world tennis elite in Monaco to mark the start of the clay season

Paris, Tuesday 14th March 2023 – During the press lunch organised in Paris, at the head office of Moët Hennessy, David Massey, the new Tournament Director, revealed the list of 45 players automatically admitted to the Main Draw and presented the highlights of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2023.

Coming after the first two American ATP Masters 1000 of the year, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, organised from April 8 to 16 by the S.M.E.T.T. (Société Monégasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis), is the first major European tournament, which opens the clay season, on the legendary courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club, presided over by Miss Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy.

The launch of this 116th edition will take place in the heart of the Principality, when the Main Draw, organised on Friday April 7, at 5 p.m., will be held in the lounges of the very elegant Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, with its Belle Epoque ambience, in the presence of Stefanos Tsitsipás, who won his second consecutive singles title last year, while the pair Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury (United States/England), won the doubles.

An exceptional line-up with the presence of the best world players

David Massey has announced the participation of the top 20 players in the ATP rankings, led by the Serbian Novak Djokovic, recent winner of the Australian Open, who has just started his 380th week as world number 1. A record in history, previously held by Steffi Graff, the living legend of women’s tennis, who, during her career, remained 377 weeks at the top position. The field also includes the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (N°2), Stefanos Tsitsipas (N°3), the Dane Casper Ruud (N°4), the American Taylor Fritz (N°5), Daniil Medvedev (N° 6), Andrey Rublev (N°7), Holger Rune (N° 8), without forgetting Félix Auger-Aliassime (N°10) and Rafael Nadal, who has been absent from the courts since January due to an injury.

“Rafa was the first player to sign up. He wants to play in Monaco and is giving himself every chance to be able to participate in this tournament that he loves so much, and which he has won eleven times in singles, including a record eight consecutive titles between 2005 and 2012,” said David Massey, the successor to Zeljko Franulovic.

On the French side, most of the players will be present, including Gaël Monfils (N°35), Richard Gasquet (N°36), Benjamin Bonzi (N°37).

Added to this Main Draw will be the 7 players from the qualifiers, as well as the 4 wild-cards, making a total of 56 players.

A new village between land and sea

On the initiative of its President, Miss Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy, eager to assert the Mediterranean identity of this exceptional site with its panoramic view, the prestigious courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club will integrate a new village, which has been completely redesigned and modified, so that all the terraces face south.

A new initiative for this emblematic event, which nevertheless maintains its traditional dates that make up the identity of this centenary tournament. Thus, the Kids’ Day will be organised on Sunday April 9, while the Grande Nuit du Tennis, a gala evening organised every year since 1992 in the legendary Salle des Étoiles of the Sporting Monte-Carlo, will take place on Saturday evening to pay tribute to the two Finalists.

Charity action renewed

After reminding us that the tournament, in partnership with BNP Paribas, had raised 30,707 euros last year for the benefit of the Princess Grace Hospital Center and offered 200 seats in gratitude to the hospital staff, David Massey announced that the Tournament would support, in 2023, the GEMLUC Association (Group of Monegasque companies in the fight against cancer) which funds research and the latest technology equipment.

From April 8 to 16, 2023, come and live the excitement of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

To consult the official list of players: PLAYERS

Press contact : presse@smett.mc

The Grande Nuit du Tennis

A new exclusive show will be presented during the 29th GRANDE NUIT DU TENNIS on the prestigious stage of the Salle des Etoiles.

In the first part of the show, three internationally renowned performances will enthral our faithful patrons:

First on stage will be the Italian artist ALESSIO, “the man who speaks to birds”, who has reinvented, in a wonderful and exemplary way, the art of presenting multicoloured parrots;

He is followed by IGOR, the greatest Serbian contemporary magician with his superb and absolutely astounding act!

Next on stage is the stunning TRIO BELLISSIMO, three Ukranian beauties straight out of a Botticelli picture, in an extraordinarily feminine “acrobatic adagio”.

But the highlight of this 29th edition will be performed by the superb troupe of British dancers who will be presenting “AN EVENING AT THE MOULIN ROUGE”, in tribute to the musical “Moulin Rouge” which was released in 2001, featuring famous songs by Queen, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Christina Aguilera and Elton John.

An outstanding show for a prestigious evening that has been a continual success since 1992!


Press Conference – Monaco

A 116th edition between land and sea

Thursday, 9th February 2023 – It was in the lounges of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort that the Tournament Director, David Massey, presented the major points of the next edition of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which will take place from 8th – 16th April 2023 on the legendary clay courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club, presided over by Miss Melanie-Antoinette de Massy.

Organised by the Société Monégasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis (S.M.E.T.T.), the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is the first European tournament in the ATP Masters 1000 category.

A prestigious international event that, since 1928, has announced the start of the season for the Principality and which can count on, alongside Rolex, the title sponsor, the loyal support of prominent partners, such as BNP Paribas, Emirates, Maserati, Sergio Tacchini, Replay, Generali, Dunlop, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer and Adecco, in charge of recruiting around one thousand temporary staff. Similarly to the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show, throughout the tournament week the entire Principality lives to the rhythm of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

After briefly summing up the 2022 edition, which was marked by the second victory of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the singles and the duo Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury (USA/England) in the doubles, David Massey announced that the Greek player, as title-holder, will be launching the 116th tournament during the Draw at the Hôtel Hermitage on Friday 7th April at 5.00 pm. The event will be broadcast live on Monaco Info.

A Main Draw that again promises to be exceptional

Although the final list of 45 players automatically admitted to the Main Draw will only be official on 14th March 2023, the deadline for entries stipulated by the ATP, the Director of the Monegasque tournament appears very confident regarding the 2023 line-up. Novak Djokovic, the world number 1, and Rafael Nadal, who should be back to attempt a 12th victory in Monaco, were among the first to sign up. And then there will be the new generation of players, very much decided to dislodge their elders.

David Massey highly recommended tennis fans to reserve their seats quickly on the official ticket site (www.rolexmontecarlomasters.mc), since, as every year, the Tournament, which welcomed 131,610 spectators on-site and was watched by over 76.5 million TV viewers, is very popular: 80% of the tickets have already been sold.

A new village facing the sea

Wishing to highlight its Mediterranean character, the new tournament management has presented the plan for the future village which has been completely redesigned and modified so that all the terraces benefit from a full view over the sea.

“I have had the opportunity over several decades to visit all the ATP tournaments. And I can confirm that our extraordinary site is exceptional, as much for its geographical situation, with its south-facing exposition overlooking the sea, as for the palette of colours that change over the course of the day”, stated David Massey, the successor to Zeljko Franulovic. He added: “We are proud of our Mediterranean identity and, in agreement with our partners, have decided to create a new logo, inspired by the movement of the sea, with a colour that represents the green of the stands and blue of the sea.”

Charity work to be continued

After reminding the audience that last year, in partnership with BNP Paribas, the tournament raised 30,707 euros for the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace and donated 200 seats in gratitude to the Hospital staff, this year the Organisers have decided to support the GEMLUC Association (Group of Monegasque Companies in the fight against cancer), which finances research and the latest technological equipment.

Stressing his wish to continue to develop the tournament along the same lines as those undertaken by his predecessors, David Massey announced that the traditional Kids’ Day will take place on Sunday, 9th April, and that the Grande Nuit du Tennis, the gala evening organised each year since 1992, will again be celebrated in the legendary Salle des Etoiles in the Sporting Monte-Carlo.

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Press releases

Tickets – The official resale is now open

With a simple click, you can now sell and buy tickets for the 2023 tournament. You no longer need to contact the buyer or seller by email or telephone, nor to physically exchange your tickets. Do it all on internet, in all security, from your own home!

If you are the buyer:
To consult offers, go on to “Seats for resale”, on the official tournament on-line ticket sales, updated daily.
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Your ticket(s), issued by the official ticketing service, has guaranteed validity.

If you are the seller:
Connect to your personal space and propose your tickets for resale in the section “My orders”.
Once the sale is made, you will receive an email confirming the purchase as well as the payment, made within 2 weeks.

The on-line resale of tickets for the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is 100% serenity, 100% secure!

New: The service is available for all ticket media (e-tickets and paper tickets)

Take note: Only the official Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on-line resale site guarantees the validity of your ticket(s) and tournament access. Be careful!

On-line resale

2023 Ticket information

Dear Spectators,

Be the first to find out our ticket prices for the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2023 here

For your information, the Priority Sales will start on Tuesday 4th October at 9.00 am (exclusively reserved to clients having booked tickets for the 2022 edition; their individual access codes will be sent directly by email as of mid-September).

For General Public access, sales will open on Tuesday 18th October at 9.00 am also.

We thank you for your interest you show in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and look forward to seeing you at the next event!

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Exclusive interview Sinner

Mental health is a problem in our current society. The Italian Jannik Sinner, rising star of the ATP circuit and now a member of the Top 10, is not only fully committed on the tennis courts. He is also at the initiative of an awareness campaign on the mental health of athletes, particularly affected during the Covid19 pandemic.

Tell us about your mental health campaign What’s Kept You Moving?

I came up with the idea of What’s Kept You Moving during lockdown in 2020, I wanted to create a conversation around how people are dealing with difficult times and that its ok to talk about hard things that you’re facing. 2020 was the start of a hard time for many, many people, especially my generation, Generation-Z in relation to mental health. It was a huge problem before the pandemic and since then it has only been heightened. I wanted to collect people’s stories of how they have delt with mental health with the with the hope to create a sense of community and a safe space to share your thoughts and feelings, with the idea to get people talking more about it.

Have you enjoyed creating the project so far?

For me it’s been great, to feel like I am able to give back a little bit and use the platform that I have for good. The project has received some great feedback and a lot of support, it’s very inspiring for me to see people get behind this and show their support. So far, I have spoken to a mixture of people from athletes to young aspiring tennis players, and everyone has been able to share their positive and negative experiences of the last few years, to hear everyone’s stories has been a privilege for me.

What have you learnt by going through this process?

One reason for making this project was that I feel like everyone has a story, no matter what walk of life you are from or what stage of your life you are in, everyone has a story which should be told. This is something I felt before the project but has only been justified further since the start of it. To see that no matter what people are doing or going through in their life, we can all relate. That’s why I am happy its sort of made a community where people are able to come together and share experiences.

Tell us about some of the participants in your project so far?

I’ve spoken to many great people so far and I hope to continue to in the future. So far I have spoken to Paralympic gold medallist Bebe Vio, Filippo Tortu, Jordyn Huitema, Favij and a number of junior aspiring tennis players. It’s been great because each participant has brought something different to each episode. Bebe was great because she is a friend of mine and to have her be part of the project was fun, she shared how she found the process of trying to prepare for the Olympic Games in the middle of a pandemic and the uncertainties that placed on her shoulders, so to see her go on to defend her Olympic title was extra special. Next I will be speaking to a Dr who was on the frontline during the height of the pandemic, I think it will be very interesting to speak to them to understand how the past couple of years have been for them and how they were able to navigate through it.

Why do you think it’s important to create a discussion around mental health?

For me, I feel like not enough people were or are talking about the subject, there are some conversations happening but not enough, and that’s why I wanted to use the platform that I have to try and create some awareness and get more people talking. As I said before, my generation has been really struggling when it comes to mental health, especially throughout the pandemic, people have felt isolated and alone due to the uncommon circumstances we found ourselves in, so I feel the more people that can talk about it and destigmatise it the better, creating a community where everyone feels safe to talk about how they feel was and is the goal.

Where do you see What’s Kept You Moving going in the future?

I’m keen to keep building out the project for years to come, I think it’s very important to continue raising awareness around mental health in whatever way that may be, it’s something I want to continue to do. As I said I have a platform with what I do so I have the desire to build something that can help other people. I have the next few participants lined up for my social channel episodes, and I am already working on an exciting project with GQ to build this out even further. It’s an ongoing topic that is very important to me and I want to continue to raise awareness and give back to whenever I can.

Exclusive interview Tsitsipas

For two seasons, the ATP Tour has lived, like the rest of the world, to the rhythm of the Covid. Do we end up getting used to it?

It’s not been easy for sure but considering how many people are suffering in the world, we should not complain.

Does this significantly change your approach to competition and/or your programming?

I practice just as hard as I did before the pandemic and try to have a full tournament schedule.

What do you think is the heaviest?

All the restrictions, tests, etc but as I said before, compared to the rest of the world, we are privileged to still be able to travel the world and play our sport.

You often used to visit, walk around, even film the cities in which you came to play tournaments … do you miss that? Or does it ultimately allow you to focus only on tennis ?

I love exploring the places where we play, it is so enriching and fun to do so, travel is one of the best educators. Unfortunately, we have not been able to do as much as before but it is out of our control.

Are you suddenly much less present on social networks? Voluntarily?

Sometimes I think it is good to take a little break from social media. It should not take over your life. But like anything its a habit, we have to try and find a balance in the end.

The European clay-court season is coming… we imagine you are already impatient to defend your title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters…

I love playing on clay, I grew up on the surface and Monaco is where I live. I can’t wait to try and defend my title at the MCCC.

After your success at the Masters in 2019, it was your first Masters 1000 title last year. Obviously a great memory … A tournament won with authority, without losing a set…
During this 2021 édition of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, we discovered a more pragmatic, more poised, less volcanic Stefanos Tsitsipas. Is combining your inspired tennis with a «more calculating» side a necessity to win big tournaments?

I had a great week in Monte Carlo last year, everything clicked for me. It was one of the best weeks of my career, together with the Nitto ATP Finals in 2019.

In 2019, you said: “Offensive play is the future of tennis! “Do you still think so?

I still believe you must attack and try to win the point first, I like to control the game.

Patrice Dominguez, former tournament director, used to say that those who shone in Monte-Carlo also shone at Roland-Garros. It was often true. This was the case for you with this final in Paris…You led two sets to zero against Novak Djokovic in the Roland-Garros final. What remains of this meeting?

It was a very painful loss; it took me time to recover from it. It was an incredible experience nonetheless, which showed me I can be on the biggest stages of tennis and compete with the best to win a grand slam title.

More than ever, we feel you are capable of winning a Grand Slam tournament… is it for 2022?

I hope so, that is what I work for every day.

Strangely, you only have 7 ATP titles on your list… do you think that’s too few?

I am only 23 and I have always played the big tournaments with all top players competing. I don’t think 7 titles is too few, it’s all part of my journey, so far 😉

The last three were won in France (or almost): Marseille, Monte-Carlo and Lyon. Pure chance or the culture of the country suits you perfectly?

I love playing in France and Monaco, the crowd is so knowledgeable and there is so much tennis tradition. Plus, part of my team is French and being around them has helped me understand the language more and more, I am not fluent, but I do aspire to get there one day.

Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev won the US Open in 2020 and 2021 respectively, Alexander Zverev the Olympic title in Tokyo and twice the Masters, you also won the Masters… even if Novak Djokovic came very close to a historic Grand Slam the last season, the competition thickened considerably for the giants Djoko-Nadal and Federer…

I think we are closing in on them, they have been the best generation of players that tennis ever had in history, it’s not been easy to break through, but they have helped us raise our game, without them we would not have been able to raise our games to a higher level.

Can you imagine them continuing again? And still be able to win?

Djokovic is still number one and Nadal is coming back and won his first tournament upon returning. For sure they can continue to win.

You are (still) part of the younger generation. But an even younger one is already arriving. Who would you bet on for a nice surprise in 2022? And on the decade to come?

I think Sinner and Alcaraz are probably ahead of the others right now, but there are a lot of young and dangerous players out there. The future of tennis will be fun!

A new leadership team

David Massey appointed Director of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

Thursday, June 30, 2022 – The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is pleased to announce that David Massey has been appointed Director of the Monegasque tournament, one of the most iconic of the ATP Circuit, which kicks off the clay court season every year. David Massey will be working in collaboration and under the supervision of Chris Kermode, Executive Advisor and Tournament Designated Representative.

“I am delighted to welcome Chris and David, who I have personally known for many years, into the Monegasque tennis family. Their respective experiences are a great added value to our teams and promise a bright future for the Monte-Carlo Tournament!”, said the President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and of the Monte-Carlo Country Club Melanie-Antoinette de Massy.

Resident in the Principality since the end of 2001, David Massey, 44, worked for 20 years in the ATP Tour where he held positions in communications, sponsorship, and tournament relations before assuming the role of ATP’s Vice President for Europe in 2009. In January 2016, the polyglot who is fluent in English, French and Spanish, was appointed Executive Vice President of the ATP in Europe, leading all aspects of the ATP’s relationship with the 31 European tournaments that make up the international men’s tennis tour. In October 2021, David Massey joined the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters as Deputy Tournament Director and will take on the role of Tournament Director from July 1, 2022, onwards. He succeeds Zeljko Franulovic.

“It is a great honour for me to take on this new challenge. I would like to thank Miss Melanie-Antoinette de Massy and all the members of the Organizing Committee for the trust placed in me. Due to its history linked to the Principality and the Princely Family, its unique site in the world that plunges into the Mediterranean and its prestigious partners, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters occupies a special place in the hearts of players. Under the leadership of Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy and my predecessors, this century-old tournament has continued to grow over the years. By bringing a fresh perspective and my international experience, I wish to be able to support the pursuit of its influence,” said David Massey, at the announcement of his appointment.

Chris Kermode was appointed Executive Chairman and President of the ATP Tour between 2014 and 2019, serving two terms as head of men’s professional tennis. His career began as a player and then turned to tournament management, first as Tournament Director at Queen’s Club in London and then General Manager of the ATP Masters in London as well. Since January 2020, Chris Kermode has been the Executive Advisor as well as the official representative of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

This experienced team is already preparing the 116th edition, which will be played from 8 to 16 April 2023 on the red clay of the prestigious Monte-Carlo Country Club.

Tsitsipas Defeats Davidovich Fokina, Defends Title

Stefanos Tsitsipas successfully defended his Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title Sunday, dispatching Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-6(3) to capture his second ATP Masters 1000 crown.

“I am very proud of myself,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “Things weren’t going well at one point, but I managed to stay composed to finish the match off. I am really proud with the belief I put in my game. Sometimes you doubt yourself, but it is always important to keep your head high.”

The Greek, who was appearing in his fourth final at this level, struck his forehands with fierce topspin and accuracy and recovered from failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set to capture his first trophy of the season.

“He fought in moments I didn’t expect him to fight,” Tsitsipas said. “He can hit incredible winners out of nowhere and play unpredictably. But I was able to minimise that. I knew he would be a dangerous opponent but that is a great win for me. I think we will see great results from him in the future.”

With his one-hour, 34-minute victory, Tsitsipas has become the sixth player to win back-to-back Monte Carlo titles in the Open Era joining Rafael Nadal (2005-12, 2016-18), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2002-03), Thomas Muster (1995-96), Bjorn Borg (1979-1980) and Ilie Nastase (1971-1973).

In a standout week, the third seed produced consistent and aggressive tennis to capture his first title since he triumphed in Lyon last May. Tsitsipas overcame 2019 titlist Fabio Fognini, Laslo Djere and second seed Alexander Zverev in straight sets, but survived a major scare in the quarter-finals against Diego Schwartzman, rallying from 0-4 in the third set to advance.

The 23-year-old, who defeated Andrey Rublev in the championship match in Monte Carlo last season, will climb to No. 2 in the ATP Race To Turin on Monday. The Greek has now won eight tour-level trophies, with four coming on clay.

In a fast start, Davidovich Fokina showed little sign of nerves on Court Rainier III as he started the better, quickly finding his range on his forehand from the baseline to earn an early break. However, Tsitsipas quickly responded as he hit with greater depth, firing a forehand past the Spaniard to break back for 2-2.

The Greek continued to impose his heavy-hitting game on Davidovich Fokina, pulling the 22-year-old from corner to corner as he won four of the next five games to move ahead after 31 minutes.

Fuelled by momentum, Tsitsipas then seized further control at the start of the second set as he overpowered Davidovich Fokina with his ball-striking. The 23-year-old broke for a 2-0 lead, but Davidovich Fokina showcased the grit, which has seen him achieve breakthrough results the week. Pumped up and in the zone, the Spaniard began to club the ball with greater width, soaring back to 4-4.

Tsitsipas broke again when he received a little bit of luck on break point at 4-4 when his mis-hit forehand landed in, before he won the point with a topspin forehand that the Spaniard was unable to return. The Greek could not serve out the match though, with Davidovich Fokina raising his level to force a tie-break. Tsitsipas would not be denied a second Masters 1000 crown, though, playing more consistently in the tie-break as he forced errors from Davidovich Fokina with his width to triumph.

Tsitsipas improved to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head series with Davidovich Fokina. He also eliminated the World No. 46 in Monte Carlo last year, when the Spaniard was forced to retire after losing the first set 5-7 in their quarter-final clash.

Davidovich Fokina was competing in his maiden ATP Tour final, having earned wins over Marcos Giron, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, David Goffin, Indian Wells titlist Taylor Fritz and 2018 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov.

The 22-year-old was aiming to become the first unseeded winner at the Monte Carlo Country Club since Muster in 1992 and also the first player since qualifier Albert Portas in Hamburg in 2001 to capture his maiden tour-level title at a Masters 1000 event.

Despite defeat, Davidovich Fokina is projected to rise to a career-high No. 27 in the ATP Rankings following his dream run in the Principality. He arrived in Monte Carlo holding just a 4-9 record on the season and having lost all three of his previous tour-level semi-finals.

‘Wow, What A Moment’: Davidovich Fokina Reflects

Despite falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final, Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina was feeling positive and encouraged Sunday as he reflected on his dream run to his first ATP Tour final.

The 22-year-old arrived at the Monte Carlo Country Club holding a 4-9 record on the season. However, he played some of the best tennis of his career on the red dirt as he earned five wins at the event, including standout victories against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Indian Wells titlist Taylor Fritz.

“[It] was [an] amazing experience,” Davidovich Fokina said in his on-court interview. “I enjoyed every day, winning big [matches]. Beating Djoko and players that are at the height of their careers. It was a tough week. A lot of emotions.

“This week with my team was amazing. [It] was a dream come true to play here in Monte Carlo [with] full crowds. To hear the people support was amazing. I was at the bench thinking, ‘Wow, what a moment’.”

Davidovich Fokina’s best result at an ATP Masters 1000 event prior to the week came in Monte Carlo last season, when he advanced to the quarter-finals before Tsitsipas stopped him.

Following his run to the championship match, the Spaniard is projected to rise to a career-high No. 27 in the ATP Rankings on Monday. Davidovich Fokina admitted that he would not be getting carried away though and will take nothing for granted in his upcoming events as he bids to build on his newfound momentum.

“Beating these guys [gives you] much confidence,” Davidovich Fokina said. “After this week I don’t know if I will win matches. I will be focused like this week on every point, every game. I will enjoy every moment now. Doesn’t matter if I lose or if I win. I’m so happy with myself, what I am doing and just to keep in that line.”

A crucial factor behind Davidovich Fokina’s rise has been his strong relationship with coach Jorge Aguire, who has supported the Spaniard for more than a decade.

“We started when I was 10, 11 years old,” Davidovich Fokina added. “From the beginning, he taught me a lot of things. He keeps me in the line every year. Without him, I [would not] be a tennis player. He lives every match like me. He has a lot of emotions every match. I’m thankful that he gives everything every match because I feel it. We are so connected out of the court and on the court.”

Tsitsipas: ‘I Think I Have A Big Chance Of Top Two’

Stefanos Tsitsipas was thrilled to successfully defend his Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title this week. However, what made it “double” special was how deep he had to dig to lift the trophy in the Principality again.

“It was a great way to top it off with lots of fighting in the end,” Tsitsipas said. “[It was] not so much [about] going for clean winners or for too much beautiful tennis, but trying to put in the hard work in every single point and go over the limits, as I like to say.”

In the semi-finals, Tsitsipas rallied from 0-4 in the third set against Diego Schwartzman. In the final, he let slip an opportunity to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set. But instead of panicking, the two-time Monte Carlo champion quickly rebounded to complete his victory in the ensuing tie-break.

Tsitsipas earned 1,000 ATP Rankings points with his win, which will propel him to second in the ATP Race To Turin on Monday as he tries to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the fourth consecutive year. But the 23-year-old has set his sights even higher.

“I have a surface that I might be adjusting easier to than other surfaces and we know which one that is,” Tsitsipas said of his recent performance on clay. “My goal ever since I have realised that… is if I’m able to score points [on] this surface as much as I can and really concentrate on the other surfaces a bit more, I can really pull off a great year, maybe even finishing among the two best tennis players at the end of the season.”

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion is off to a strong start to his season, which has included a run to the Australian Open semi-finals and the Rotterdam final on top of his Monte Carlo triumph. He is aiming to bring the level he did in the Principality throughout the year.

“I’m always trying to bring the best I can from clay and adjust accordingly to the other surfaces. I really want to be doing well on hard and grass this year, because I feel like I can really get a lot of points there,” Tsitsipas said. “If I’m able to win matches with the same consistency I do on this surface, I think I have a big chance of finishing the year [in] the top two, which is a huge goal of mine to be finally there and belong in that special group of players.”

Only five active players — Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Daniil Medvedev — have reached World No. 2, and all of them have ascended to World No. 1. Tsitsipas has reached a career-high of World No. 3.

“My tennis is great I think everywhere, with clay maybe being the surface that I can adjust [to] the best. I have had moments where I was trying to apply what I apply on clay on hard. Doesn’t really seem to be working much. Sometimes it’s not really the way to go,” Tsitsipas said. “But this has also [taught] me a lot that I should adjust and I should never really become obsessive that, ‘Okay, whatever works on clay should work on faster surfaces’.”

For now, Tsitsipas will not look too far ahead. The Greek is right back to work at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell this week. The top seed is a two-time finalist at the ATP 500, where he will try to lift another trophy.

Ram/Salisbury Capture Second Masters 1000 Crown

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury cemented their new status as the world’s top-ranked doubles pairing on Sunday with a pulsating 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 victory over Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the final of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

The American-British duo overcame stubborn resistance from sixth seeds Cabal and Farah at the ATP Masters 1000 event, producing an all-round display to prevail in a match that saw all four players maintain a high level throughout.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Salisbury in the pair’s on-court interview. “I’m so happy right now. It’s a first title on clay together, on a surface that we always thought was a weaker one for us. [We have] not done too well here before, but we’ve been working really hard, and we knew we could play well. [I am] just so happy that it’s come together and to get the win here.”

“I got the best player in the world on my team, that helps!” added Ram when asked about the secrets to the pair’s success. “It’s our fourth year together, we have great chemistry, we work really well together on and off the court. I think it shows in matches like this, we can piece together a good effort and give ourselves a competitive chance.”

Clinching a second ATP Masters 1000 crown with Ram caps a dream week for 29-year-old Salisbury, who reached No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday. He and Ram showed off some of the skills that have made them the world’s top-ranked pairing, combining strong serving and rock-solid net play with imaginative returning to clinch victory in one hour, 38 minutes.

Neither team gave much away in a tight opening set that featured some entertaining back-and-forth at the net, but it was top seeds Ram and Salisbury who edged ahead after clinching the only break of the set in the seventh game.

Two-time Masters 1000 champions Cabal and Farah were never far away from their higher-ranked opponents and ramped up the pressure in the second set. All four players continued to strike the ball cleanly, but it was the Colombians who secured a crucial break with a sudden-death deciding point for 5-3 before serving out to level the match.

The teams had come through a Match Tie-break apiece on their way to the championship clash, but it was the top-seeded pairing who found something extra at crucial moments to clinch a maiden clay-court title together, with Salisbury crashing a forehand winner down the middle to trigger the celebrations on Court Rainier III.

The win improves Ram and Salisbury’s record in tour-level finals to 6-8, with the duo having also clinched Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open in 2020 and the US Open last year. They now lead Cabal and Farah 5-1 in the ATP Head2Head series between the two teams. Sunday’s final was the first time they had met in the 2022 season and was their first encounter on clay.

Ram and Salisbury, who lifted their maiden Masters 1000 title at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto last year, are now looking forward to hunting further success on the clay in 2022.

“It’s huge,” said Salisbury. “I feel like the past seasons that we’ve played [on clay] we’ve taken a while to get into it, but it’s massive getting the win here. We know we can play really well and really looking forward to the rest of the events.”