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The Rolex Monte-Carlo Tennis Masters is one of the world’s oldest tournaments. Hosted by Monte-Carlo Country Club since 1928, it is part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000.

Founded in 1897, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is one of the world’s oldest clay court tennis tournaments. In its early years, the competition was held on the courts of the Lawn Tennis de Monte-Carlo, located on the roof of the Hôtel de Paris’ wine cellars. From 1905, it moved to other temporary locations (in La Condamine, and later Beausoleil), before taking up permanent residence at Monte-Carlo Country Club in 1928.

At that time the tournament was open to men and women, and immediately attracted the elite of British and American tennis. In 1969, it became an Open tournament, with professional players able to compete. For many years, over a dozen events – including the mixed-doubles – took place simultaneously at Monte-Carlo Country Club. Since the 1980s, the tournament has consisted of only two competitions: the men’s singles and the men’s doubles. In 1990, it became part of the ATP’s Championship Series, Single Week, a category now known as the Masters 1000, and was renamed the Rolex Masters under a naming rights deal with watchmaker Rolex.

© Michael Alesi
© Direction de la Communication / Manuel Vitali

The first Masters 1000 meeting of the season to be played on clay, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is popular with players and regularly voted the best tournament on the tour. The world’s leading players sprang to its defence when, in 2005, the ATP was considering downgrading the event’s status. Monaco is also the home of numerous champions, including Novak Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, and the Zverev brothers.

Rafael Nadal holds the record for the number of singles titles won with a total of eleven (from 2005 to 2012, and 2016 to 2018). The Majorcan’s love affair with Monaco began in his first years on the tour, which saw him win his first Masters 1000 on the clay courts of the MCCC at the age of just 18. In the early 20th century, Reginald Frank Doherty and Anthony Wilding collected six and five trophies respectively. In the Open era, Guillermo Vilas, Ilie Nastase, Bjorn Borg, and Thomas Muster each won the tournament three times.

Monte-Carlo is without contest one of my favourite tournaments of the season. I have experienced some of the highlights of my career there. So it’s always particularly emotional  to come back. It is a unique event, and I will be giving everything I have to win here.

Rafael Nadal, winner of the record number of titles in Monte-Carlo.

© Michael Alesi
© Michael Alesi

Organised by the SMETT (Société Monégasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis), the Monte-Carlo tournament was directed by Bernard Noat (from the 1970s until 1997), and later by the duo Francis Truchi and Patrice Dominguez (between 1998 and 2004).

In 2022, David Massey, former vice-president of the ATP Europe, took over as tournament director, replacing ex-player Zeljko Franulovic (who won the title in 1970).

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