The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters has come to an end, on this Easter Sunday, with Stefanos Tsitsipas that succeeded in defending the title won in 2021, graduating for the second consecutive time champion of the Principality tournament. The Greek with this success equals some of the greatest tennis players in history in the Open Era, both as regards the multiple winners in tournaments of the “1000” category still in business, and as regards the record of reconfirming themselves as winners the year following the first affirmation.
MULTIPLE WINNERS IN THE “1000” – Let’s start with the first statistic, in this particular ranking the names of the players who have dominated the last twenty years of world tennis stand out. This is because clearly the introduction in the Masters 1000 tournaments, as we know them today, is dated 2009; and moreover the record in question – as mentioned – refers only to tennis players who have not yet hung up the racket. So, the nice gang to which is added the n. 5 of the world sees present, in order of titles posted on the bulletin board: in first place the n. 1 ATP Novak Djokovic with 37 triumphsof which i two in Montecarlo in 2013 and 2015; second Rafa Nadal with 36, 11 of which on the Monegasque red; to the third his majesty Roger Federer with 28who never managed to triumph at the Country Club, where he lost three consecutive finals in the 2006-2008 three-year period against the irreducible Majorcan and a fourth in 2014 with compatriot Stan Wawrinka; fourth Andy Murray with 14, none of which on the Côte d’Azur – tournament in which he has not even played a final. So as can be easily observed, the first four places are occupied by the legendary Fab Fourwho have left the crumbs to the rest of the contenders since they roam the circuit.
After them we find three now former Nex Gen representatives: Daniil MedvedevSasha Zverev and precisely the fresh winner of the first European “1000” of 2022, Tsitsipas. The Russian has achieved 4 successes in the tournaments of this category (Cincinnati and Shanghai 2019, Paris Bercy 2020, Toronto 2021), also reaching two other finals (Montreal 2019 defeated by Nadal, Paris Bercy 2021 defeated by Djokovic). The N. 3 of the rankings, on the other hand, can boast an extra title: Rome 2017, Montreal 2017, Madrid 2018, the success “repeated” in the Spanish capital three years after the first laurel (overcoming Berrettini in the challenge for the title) and Cincinnati 2021; in addition to four other latest acts (in two of these he was defeated by the number 2 in the ranking, three years ago in China and in 2020 in Bercy). Finally the Greek closes the lot, with his two successes in a row in Monte Carlo – to which we must also add his first two “1000” finals, lost by the Manacor bull in 2018 in Toronto and by the Serbian cannibal on Madrid one year more. late. In reality there would also be an eighth protagonist officially classifiable, among other things with two statements such as Tsitsi; except that he announced a short while ago who will stop professional activity after the next Roland Garros.
Obviously we are talking about Jo-Wilfried Tsongabut since we are still allowed to insert it, we do not miss this opportunity, also because we have the opportunity to retrace some of the most shining moments in the career of one of the most spectacular tennis players of the last twenty years, when he is now close to retiring, it should be a moral obligation for anyone who writes or talks about tennis. So Jo won at home in the last 1000 of the season in Paris Bercy in 2008, doubling six years later in Canada to Toronto. To give even more prestige to his two victories the opponents knocked out in the final; Nalbandian and Federer respectively. The former n. 5 of the ranking also arrived in two other circumstances in the final act of a Masters 1000, but this time being blocked by King Roger in 2011 in Bercy and by the “rubber man” Nole in Shanghai 2015.
BACK TO BACK IN MONTECARLO – Now, instead, let’s take a nice dip in the past by dealing with the second statistical record taken into consideration, going through the 70s, 80s and 90s up to the present day and contemporary tennis. We take into consideration all the players of the Open Era who have succeeded in the feat of back-to-backusing a term so dear to the NBA world, in that of Roquebrune that is to say those who were able to win Monte Carlo for two consecutive years. Between defending champions, who have reconfirmed themselves as champions are there: Bjorn Borg (1979-1980), Thomas Muster (1995-1996), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2002-2003) and the newcomer to this small circle of elite of the history of racket sport, Tsitsipas (2021-2022). Then we even find players capable of going beyond the two titles and creating real unbeaten strips in Monegasque soil. But if for Ilie Nastase (1971-1972-1973) the filotto still remains within the canons of human understanding, the same cannot be said for the extra-terrestrial landed from the Planet Manacor. In fact for Rafa Nadal need a separate chapter, since he has lined up first 8 consecutive titles (2005-2012) and then another “strip” just so as not to miss anything from 3 statements (2016-2018).
N. 1 AND WINNERS IN BOIS DE BOULOGNE – A figure concerning the five protagonists of this record, if we exclude the new-entry, on the one hand gives the Athenian hope for his future and on the other puts further pressure on him. The Swedish bear, the Austrian left-handed, the Romanian vampire, Mosquito and the Majorcan phenomenon have a common denominator; they were all n. 1 of the world and Roland Garros champions. We’ll see if Stefanos will fully respect the dictates of the legendary group. Tsitsi seems to be well addressed as he only missed one set to win in Paris last year and declared in the press room after the affirmation on Fokina that he had the Top 2 as his goal. But between saying and doing there is the sea and only time will tell us if it will remain unfinished or will be a full part of the private of the Principality.
AND PIETRANGELI? – At the conclusion of this excurcus of numbers and samples, a necessary underlining of the historical period analyzed. The Open Era, as you well know, put an end to the distinction between amateurism and professionalism and consequently in the special ranking of the racket champions who have won at least two consecutive editions of the Monte Carlo tournament. our Nicola Pietrangeli is not present (here his prediction on the Monegasque final and a comment on the moment of Italian tennis with our director Scanagatta). The two-time winner of the French Open hasindeed, triumphed in the Principality in 1961 and then two years in a row in 1967-1968. Unfortunately, the Open Era began in ’68, so Nicola’s double is not considered part of the lot in question. Nonetheless, however we wanted to mention the national Pietrangeli, because his three titles at the Country Club will remain forever in the roll of honor. That is why it is right to remember them.