2023 Monte Carlo Masters Recap and Observations
Andrey Rublev has won the 2023 Monte Carlo Masters in spectacular fashion, coming back from 1-4 in the third to beat teenage sensation Holger Rune. It has the third time Rublev had been in a Masters 1000 final – third time’s the charm! He had reached the final at Monte Carlo in 2021 where he lost to Tsitsipas routinely in the final. His toughest match of the tournament was against Taylor Fritz, who took out Tsitsipas clinically in the quarterfinals.
This was a statement win for Rublev, especially since he took out one of the players everyone is talking about. Holger Rune, at just 19 years of age has already won a Masters level event, beating Djokovic in the Paris Masters final in 2022. The tennis world is expecting big things from Rune, Alcaraz, and Sinner.
However, at this tournament it would not be the youngsters that would rule, but Rublev, who has been very consistent at winning 500 level tournaments but has been a little bit of a bust in both Grand Slams and Masters 1000 tournaments. This is the kind of confidence builder that will bode well for him as he prepares for the French Open. With Nadal’s short-term future on hold due to injury, this may be one of those years where it will be someone other than Nadal lifting this trophy. Let’s look at other highlights from Monte Carlo this week:
- Taylor Fritz looked great on clay. Usually, Americans struggle against Europeans on the red clay. Not Taylor Fritz. He showed great skill, determination, and patience on the red clay this past week. Taking out the defending champion and one of the best clay court players in the world in Tsitsipas is no easy task. It will be interesting to see how well he does in the rest of the tune ups before the French Open.
- Is anyone else wondering what in the world happened to Djokovic? With Nadal out with an injury, the next best clay court player in the world is supposed to be Djokovic. Unfortunately for him, he was stopped short of the quarters by Musetti, the talented Italian who plays second fiddle to Sinner and Berrettini. We’ll soon see if this was a fluke or if there’s issues with form on the red clay for Djokovic.
- Sad to see Schwartzman suffering another setback in his match against Sinner where he had to pull out with a shoulder injury. First it was an injury in Australia, then he goes on a terrible losing streak. He was finally able to string a couple of wins here and there and then he is forced to retire. Let’s hope he gets back to his best soon. Shwartzman is great for the game.
- Now that the first big clay court tournament has wrapped up, we’re nowhere near seeing who a potential favorite at Roland Garros will be. The ATP is so deep right now, that it could be the old guard of Djokovic and Nadal winning, or the now veteran generation of Medvedev, Rublev, Zverev and Tsitsipas. However, it could also be the up and comers, Rune, Alcaraz and Sinner. Whoever makes that run, it will be fun to watch!
Next up, the Barcelona Open!