Nestled between Monaco and Menton sits Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, an unassuming but spirited commune and home to the Monte-Carlo Masters. This prestigious tennis tournament is hosted annually in April at the renowned Monte-Carlo Country Club and welcomes the most acclaimed players from across the globe.
Bursting with natural beauty and historic architecture, the locale was put on the map in the 1920s with the construction of notable buildings, from La Pausa for Coco Chanel to Eileen Gray’s E-1027, a modernist L-shaped villa on the shore of Cape Martin. Today, tourists spill down the steep cobbled streets, with the Monte-Carlo Masters marking the start of this high season.
The Monte-Carlo Country Club was founded on April 2nd 1893, under the name ‘Lawn Tennis de Monte Carlo’ and was relocated twice - once on top of a garage roof. George Butler, a wealthy American benefactor and tennis enthusiast who was an admirer of world number one at the time, Suzanne Lenglen, was passionate that the French club was unworthy of her talent. He set out to create a more prestigious club, voicing that “her star status deserves a jewel not only a simple roof on top of a garage".
As one of the oldest tennis tournaments, the Monte-Carlo Tennis Championship was first held in 1897 and became an “Open” event 72 years later. The event is played across 21 courts, all playable throughout the year. These iconic courts are made of crushed shale, stone or brick which slows down the ball and produces a slow, high bounce, often making rallies longer and suiting base line players who tend to play tactically with spin.
Last year's winner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, is now in the running for his fifth title on clay, putting his crown at stake.
This year's tournament runs from 8 April to 16 April 2023.