This week the ATP event came to the first masters of the clay court season: Monte Carlo station in the Kingdom of Monaco.
Event name: Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Venue: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Site material: Red Clay
Tournament rating: ATP Masters 1000
Total tournament prize money: € 6,228,295
Number of singles draws: 56 (first-round bye for top eight seeds)
This site has a long history, opened in 1897, more than a hundred years ago. However, in 2008, due to the change of ATP policy, it almost lost the status of the Masters, and finally kept it, but the price was to become the only one of the nine Masters that was not a mandatory event. Even so, as the first masters of the clay court season, this site is still a tournament that players love and participate in very actively: this year, eight of the top 10 came, and the star rating is quite high. Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, is invincible in this station, winning 11 singles championships and taking the lead. It’s a pity that this year’s injury has not healed and he was unable to participate. Even Carlos Alcaraz was absent due to injury.
Novak Djokovic, who missed the “Sunshine Double” two masters, finally played in this station. Unfortunately, he lost to Italian player Lorenzo Musetti in the quarterfinals and failed to make a red plate in the first leg of the clay court season.
The Danish rookie Holger Rune finally reached the final, and his opponent was Andrey Rublev. In the quarterfinals, Rune defeated Daniil Medvedev, who has been on a hot streak this year and has won four consecutive championships. His performance was quite eye-catching; in the semifinals, he also defeated the Italian player Jannik Sinner in three sets and entered the final of the Masters for the second time. As for Rublev, it took three sets in the semi-finals to defeat the American player Taylor Fritz, who was in a very good condition this year, and reached the final of the Masters for the third time. Having failed the first two times: once to Stefanos Tsitsipas and the other to Alexander Zverev, this attempt is quite ambitious to win the Masters for the first time.
The final was an exciting one, with both sides bringing out their best weapons: Rune with his seemingly limitless strength, and Rublev with his usual violent forehand. In the first set, the two sides broke and protected each other, and finally in the twelfth game, Rublev made a forehand error, allowing the young Rune to take the lead 7-5.
In the second set, Rune made more mistakes, and his competitiveness dropped significantly. Coupled with Rublev’s forehand performance, he quickly won 6-2, and the two sides evened. The third set was almost a repeat of the first set. Rune broke serve first and took a 3-0 and 4-1 lead. However, Rublev did not give up in the latter stage. In addition, Rune’s condition fell quickly and many unnecessary mistakes occurred. Rublev found a chance to break serve, and the two sides came to a 5-5 tie again. Finally, in the eleventh game, Rune made multiple mistakes, plus a fatal double error directly ruined his future, allowing Rublev to win 7-5 by keeping his serve. After the first two failures, he finally won the first Masters championship in his career. Congratulations to him.
This is Rublev’s thirteenth singles championship. He has a fairly stable performance on both clay and hard courts. He looks forward to another outstanding breakthrough this year.
Next week’s game preview
Barcelona (ATP 500), Munich (ATP 250), Banja Luka (ATP 250)