Monte-Carlo revisited…

A trip to the Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France is always one of the highlights of the ATP tour. The best in men’s tennis kick off their clay court season at the Monte-Carlo Masters.

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It was founded in 1897 and is one of the oldest tournaments on the tour. Unfortunately this year there will be no Monte-Carlo following the Coronavirus outbreak. The only other times the event has been cancelled was during the two world wars.

Of course the best clay courters have won here and no-one more than eleven time champion Rafael Nadal but what have been my memories and highlights over the years?

2017 – David Goffin 6-2 3-6 7-5 Novak Djokovic

I’ve always loved watching David Goffin, I think he has one of the purest games in men’s tennis. Over the years we have seen him on his day push players around with his immaculate hitting.

I think when all is said and done maybe the word ‘underachieved’ or a fairer word ‘under appreciated’ will come to the front. He was always a headache for players!

This match was frustrating for Djokovic but from Goffin was a complete masterclass. He camped on that baseline, scrambled for ball after ball and picked out some quite incredible shots. 

It will go down as one of the best in his career and in recent history of Monte-Carlo.

The win over Djokovic was in fact the first win in his career against a player ranked inside the top three. 

You can read more about his menacing performance below…

Frustrations visible as Djokovic fell early once again!

Kei Nishikori 4-6 6-2 6-1 Tomas Berdych

This was by far one of the most unusual matches I have ever seen. It was good fun, the rallies were so good and we saw the best from both players.

I remember saying at the end of the match:

“what the hell happened there?”

Berdych was striking the ball cleanly, let by a set at 6-4 and 2-3 on serve and lost nine of the last ten games.

Nishikori 4-6 6-2 6-1 Berdych; no one still knows what the hell happened!

Medvedev announces himself on the big stage

2019 was quite the year for Daniil Medvedev, the Russian performed some incredible heroics in the latter stages of the year but he really put Djokovic to the sword.

The way he hit the ball was quite incredible, a criticism would be a lack of movement from the Russian but he stood up to the challenge.

The depth he hit against Djokovic was a joke, it was ballsy and relentless. His backhand was simply unbreakable, it was poetic!

Medvedev 6-3 4-6 6-2 Djokovic: deep hitting & unbreakable backhand

Fabio’s day in Monte-Carlo!

Fabio Fognini winning the Monte-Carlo Masters last year was a surprise but not undeserved.

I’m not the Italian’s biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination but what he did was absolutely fantastic in winning his first Masters 1000 title.

Not only that but also the level of performance against Nadal to get to the final was simply outstanding!

The precision of his game, especially his backhand down the line was simply beautiful. Quite remarkable 24 hours before the Italian was in real danger looking injured and 1-6 down to Borna Coric.

How Fabio Fognini executed the perfect performance against Rafael Nadal

Favourite Shot?

Well, it just has to be this one from 2009…

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