The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters - 100 years of success

by Ian Cherepanov Editor-at-Large
August 16, 2022
The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters - 100 years of success

Monaco is famous for the events: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health, Red Cross Gala, International Circus Festival and Monaco Yacht Show. The calendar starts in early spring, when world famous tennis players, legends from the world of big sport come to the principality. The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters - the most famous, the most luxurious and prestigious tournaments in the world. Check our article to know how the iconic event was founded and who won the championship 11 times!  


Famous club 

The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters is one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. One of the oldest international tennis tournaments celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006. 


In April 1896 the first tournament was held in a small French town of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Tennis courts were just a few minutes away from the Principality of Monaco. The famous Monte Carlo Country Club with the terraced red clay tennis courts welcomed the first tennis players in 1928 .The prestigious Club was founded by American philanthropist George Butler. He was a great patron and lover of tennis.That time Prince Rainier III and his wife Grace Kelly supported a lot the development of the Monte-Carlo Country Club.


From the beginning, it was an amateur tournament, since 1969 Rolex Masters has only been attended by professional tennis players. Interesting fact, that from 2009, The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters became the only Masters 1000 tournament in the world without an obligation to have a mandatory player commitment. 


The system 

The Rolex Monte-Carlo Tennis Masters brings together the top 56 players in a knockout tournament with 6 rounds. The male tournament played both singles and doubles. Women stopped participating in the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in 1982.


Prince Albert II of Monaco is also a great fan of the tournament and every year attends the legendary event. The winner of the championship receives the prize from one of the members of the royal family. 


The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters every year attracts more than 134,000 spectators and more than 400 international journalists and tennis experts.


Famous players

The success of the Monte Carlo Masters has always depended on the most renowned tennis players. The very first official competition was won by  George Whiteside Hillyard, an English tennis player. In 1961 the world known legendary Italian player Nicola Pietrangeli won the famous tournament. 


Another iconic figure from the world of sport was a leader of the event 11 times! Rafael Nadal has a record in the world of tennis.


Novak Djokovic went down in history for winning all nine ATP Masters 1000 Tournaments and achieved the ATP Career Golden Masters status.


The prize fund

For many years Rolex, a famous Swiss watchmaker, has been the main sponsor and partner of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The prize fund at Monte Carlo in 2019 was €5,207,405. In 2021 it reached €2,082,960. In 2022 the famous clay tournament has more than doubled the amount of money compared to the last editions - €5,415,410.


Ian Cherepanov


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