The other major events of the year

  • Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
    26 April 2018
  • Grand Prix de Formule 1 de Monaco
    24 May 2018
  • Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival
    28 June 2018
  • Jumping International de Monte-Carlo
    28 June 2018
  • Concours International de Feux d'Artifice Pyromélodiques
    21 July 2018
  • Gala de la Croix Rouge Monégasque
    27 July 2018
  • Monaco Yacht Show
    26 September 2018
  • Festival International du Cirque
    17 January 2019
  • Le Rallye Monte-Carlo
    21 January 2019
  • Spring Arts Festival
    15 March 2019
  • Le Bal de la Rose
    30 March 2019
  • Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
    15 April 2019

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters

The Monte-Carlo (Monaco) tournament is a men’s tennis tournament played on clay, it is part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 category of events, organised by the ATP with nine tournaments which have been taking place since 1990 in Europe, North America and Asia.

The Exceptional Tennis Tournament

This is how it was that in 1897, the first tennis tournament in Monegasque history took place in the Principality. At the time, the space was called the Monaco Lawn Tennis. From the outset, the tournament included men and women in two categories. There were open, doubles and handicap tournaments. The first years, in fact, were dominated by the Doherty brothers, two Britons who had excelled at Wimbledon.

Until 1905, then, the tournament was played behind the Hotel de Paris before moving, in 1906, to la Condamine, the first year that the men’s draw exceeded 16 entries with 18 players. In 1919, only a few months after the armistice of 11 November, 1918, everything started again. 1914 also marked the first entry by one Suzanne Lenglen, the English woman who largely dominated exchanges on the ochre courts of the Principality between 1919 and 1926. This period also marked the participation of the King of Sweden, Gustave V, under the pseudonym of Mister G. Indeed, he played many mixed doubles with Suzanne Lenglen. At the start of the 20s, the tournament relocated to the roof of Auto-Rivera, a garage in Beausoleil. This would be its penultimate move. It was with the arrival of George Butler, an American who had made his fortune in cigarettes, that a major step would be taken. A tennis fanatic, George Butler campaigned for a long time with the Société des Bains de Mer for the construction of a large-scale tennis facility, which would thus be in line with the Principality’s image. His wish was fulfilled with the inauguration of the Monte-Carlo Country Club, 27 February, 1928. Seeing the MCCC facilities nowadays, the development jumps out at you. The area itself has also changed a great deal. Now with a basement sports hall, changing rooms for professionals, as well as three courts more than at the beginning, the MCCC provides improved facilities for its champions as well as the public every year. For in the not so distant past, it was the MCCC members who lent their changing rooms to the players. 

The Open Era

At the advent of the Open era in 1969, professional players took part and the tournament was among the top events. Nowadays it is part of the Masters 1000. In 2007, during a re-organisation of the ATP World Tour, the status of the tournament was under threat. Supported by the players, the organisers took the ATP to court and the tournament retained its “Masters 1000”  status. Unlike other tournaments in this category, the thirty top players in the world are not required to take part, although the majority of them choose to enter.

The women’s tournament was organised in the 1960s and 1970s. Its last edition was 1982.
The Monte-Carlo Masters brings together 56 players in a straight elimination draw of six rounds. There are 16 seeds in the 56 players, the top eight having a bye in the first round. Furthermore, four players take part in the tournament by invitation (or wild card). Finally, a qualifying tournament, which takes place just before the Monte-Carlo Masters, allows seven players to join the main draw.
The matches are played to the best of three sets with a tie-break in each set. Until 2006, the final was the best of five sets.
As for the doubles tournament, it is contested by 24 teams, or 48 players, in a straight elimination tournament of five rounds. The teams include the top eight seeds who have a first-round bye. Two teams are invited by the tournament and there is no qualifying tournament. Matches are also played as the best of three sets with a tie-break in each set. Since 2006, the third set has been replaced by a super tie-break.
The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters is:

  • One of the most prestigious tennis tournaments on the men’s circuit
  • The 1st major tournament of the European season
  • An exceptional field, featuring the world’s best players every year
  • 2 numbered main courts, 3 annexe courts with unreserved spectator galleries and 6 training courts
  • 135,809 spectators in 2017

Honours List

In April 2017, Rafael Nadal did not waste his time on the Monegasque Rock. By beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas (6-1, 6-3) in the final, he made history. Rafael Nadal has won the trophy 10 times between 2005 and 2012, then 2016 and 2017. He is the only player to have won a trophy that number of times, consecutively or otherwise.  (List of Winners)