Wrapping Up 2015…
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR, ZELJKO FRANULOVIC:
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I would like to say hello and welcome to this press conference so we can make together a brief assessment of this 119th edition of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters. On behalf of all the organization, I wish to thank you once again for your presence and your loyalty.
As has been the case for several years now, the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters was launched in the heart of Port Hercules in this exceptional surrounding of the new building of the yacht club of Monaco. It has a panoramic view of 360 degrees over the palace, the casino, and the Mediterranean.
Top No. 1 player Novak Djokovic, a member of the yacht club, and then the holder of the trophy here, Stan Wawrinka, have participated in a mini tennis exhibition proposed in the framework of the Stars Program in cooperation with the ATP on the upper terraces of this spectacular building that was designed by Norman Foster and inaugurated last June.
Then we went inside the yacht club for the draw that was done by the 2014 holder of the trophy of His Highness Prince Sovereign, Stan Wawrinka, always in this very nautical atmosphere.
The highlights of that first day took place on center court in the Monte Carlo Country Club, with the exhibition called Marin and Friends. That was a great success with the children because Marin Cilic, as a Monagasque resident, and winner of the last US Open, wanted to support two charity associations of the principality: Special Olympics, the godmother of which is Her Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, and Fight AIDS Monaco, chaired by Her Serene Highness Princess Stephanie of Monaco.
I’d like to take this chance to thank Marin for his commitment and generosity. He was surrounded by other players from the top 10: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic.
There was also, apart from these activities, a private lunch organized in the Prince’s palace between Their Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Monaco, and Roger and Mirka Federer.
It is our tradition here. Sunday is for children. We had our Kids’ Day organized for the great pleasure of 1,600 children who participated in the various activities in our animation area with the valuable support of our partners who offered many presents throughout the day.
We also played tennis. We must underline here that we broke a record in terms of quality of our draw and field. It’s the first time in the history of a Masters 1000 that 15 out of the 16 seeded players were able to reach the Round of 16. I really would like to thank all the players for their loyalty to this tournament.
This year, it’s different from other years because in 2014 the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters had an unprecedented final that was 100% Swiss between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. But this year neither of them has reached the quarterfinal.
This year, in 2015, it confirms the return of Rafael Nadal, and also that Novak Djokovic, No. 1 in the world, is in control. They both offered us a beautiful semifinal yesterday. We should not forget the good progression of Gaël Monfils, who was able to use best his wild card by reaching for the first time the semifinal in our tournament, playing Tomas Berdych.
At 2:30, the audience will be able to watch a fight between two Monagasque residents, Novak Djokovic, No. 1 player in the world, who is trying to get his second title in the principality, and Tomas Berdych, who is a seeded player No. 6, and top 8 in the world, trying to conquer his first title on the courts of the Monte Carlo Country Club.
Now I’m going to give you some figures. For tickets, this year was a very good year. It was a great success with a total amount of 134,795 spectators. We also reached our maximum capacity on a daily basis, and from Tuesday to Sunday we were sold out.
What is exceptional is that we had anticipated bookings and purchases even for the Prince’s Court, which was also full as far as bookings on Wednesday and Thursday, even before the tickets started to be sold.
You, too, my friends, you have never been so numerous. We were very pleased also to welcome newcomers from Japan, Taiwan, and also we are happy to have CNN back with Pat Cash.
You were more than 370 accredited journalists representing approximately 20 countries. This means we need to keep improving and developing your conditions of work. We are already working on our 2016 edition for that.