Following the conclusion of the Miami Open, the ATP calendar now returns to the usual season on European clay courts: the first tournament was the historic ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, born in 1897. In 2019, in what turned out to be the last edition before the Coronavirus pandemic, the trophy was raised by Fabio Fognini against Dusan Lajovic in the final, with the Italian who managed to defeat the Spanish Rafael Nadal, winner here 11 times, an absolute record - in the penultimate match of the tournament.
Also this year, the big favorite for the European red clay tour can only be Rafa, thirteen-time Roland Garros champion (where he has not lost since 2015, in 2016 he retired-ed.). The Mallorcan's last success in the Principality of Monaco dates back to 2018, when he defeated Kei Nishikori in the final with a score of 6-3 6-2.
With 35 years of next June, Nadal has played only one tournament in this 2021: it is the Australian Open in Melbourne, where he lost in the quarterfinals to Stefanos Tsitsipas after being two sets to zero. Currently number 3 in the ATP world rankings, Rafa has a truly unbeatable record: he is the player who has conquered the most events on the Clay Tour, up to 60.
Among the still active players, in second place, but At a distance nothing short of enormous, the Serbian world number 1, Novak Djokovic, stopped at 15. Stefanos Tsitsipas recently claimed that the Big 3 of tennis, which is made up of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, could become a 'Big 6 or Big 8' in the future given the number of promising youngsters on tour right now.
The Greek also spoke about his French Open and Wimbledon ambitions.
Tsitsipas on the tournament that he’d like to win the most
"I think our generation is going to be different," Stefanos Tsitsipas said. "We have gotten used to talking and reading the Big 3 all the time and I feel like we are going to be the Big 6 or the Big 8.
I think it will be more fascinating, a kind of revolution, to have a greater number of players competing with each other. It will be more exciting for the viewer." Stefanos Tsitsipas was then asked to pick the tournament that he’d like to win the most.
In response, the 22-year-old first stated that he enjoys playing in Australia due to the healthy amount of support he receives from the local Greeks. "I always liked playing in Australia due to the fact that there are a lot of Greeks in the stands," Tsitsipas said.
"I feel your support and love. At Roland Garros, for example, I feel like I want to take that trophy that Rafael Nadal has lifted 150 times. I would stay between Paris and Wimbledon, which is synonymous with prestige. I think it is the biggest tournament in our sport."