Fognini Opens Title Defence At Monte-Carlo

Fabio Fognini (photo: Agence Carte Blanche / Réalis)

MONTE-CARLO, April 13, 2021 (Press Release)

The sun was back in the Principality of Monaco on Tuesday allowing a day full of action at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. 

Defending champion and World No. 18 Fabio Fognini was the first one to hit the ball on Court Rainier III and though he lost his first serve, the Italian made a successful return to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, defeated Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 7-5. Fognini fired 27 winners to advance to the second round in just 85 minutes.  

“It was difficult coming here with a bit of pressure,” Fognini said after the match. “I am really happy with my victory because the first round is always difficult. Despite the absence of the traditional and most lively Italians supporters, Fognini proved once again to feel at home at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. 

“It is really special because I was born here, I was born in San Remo. I was practising here since I was 14 years old. I have a lot of memories here”, added the No. 15 seed, who will next take on Jordan Thompson of Australia. In their only previous meeting in the second round of the Australian Open last year, Fognini prevailed in a fifth set tie-break.

Fognini’s countryman, #NextGenATP Jannik Sinner also made a successfully debut at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. In his first appearance since his runner-up finish at the Miami Open, the 19-year-old defeated 2017 finalist and World No. 46 Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-4 on Court des Princes to book a blockbuster meeting with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. “I’m looking forward to a great battle, trying to play my tennis, trying to, yeah, make my tennis, then we will see what’s happening”, said Sinner.

Tsitsipas into third round

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas aced a tricky opening test at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Aslan Karatsev of Russia on Tuesday. One break of serve in each set made the difference for the Greek on Court Rainier III as he faced the Dubai titlist for the first time. Tsitsipas fired nine winners over an hour and 24 minutes as he claimed the first spot into the third round.

“I knew I had to face a difficult opponent today,” Tsitsipas said in his post-match interview. 

“Aslan has great results this year… I managed to push him back and attack with my forehand. Things worked out pretty well for me. My clay court experience helps a lot to come back each year stronger, knowing that I have done better before. It was a very beautiful game out there and I enjoyed every single second of it.

Up next for Tsitsipas will be either Australian John Millman or Cristian Garin of Chile.

Medvedev withdraws

After testing positive for COVID-19, Daniil Medvedev has been placed in quarantine and isolated. The World No. 2 tested positive on Monday and therefore had to withdraw from the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters draw, where he has been replaced by Argentine lucky loser Juan Ignacio Londero.

“I am very disappointed not to be able to play my home town tournament,” said Medvedev. “My goal now is to look forward and I do hope to get back on the Tour as soon as possible.” 

The COVID-19 protocol set up by the ATP, in accordance with Monegasque and French authorities remains very strict.  Since Friday 2nd of April, 1,300 tests have been conducted at two different test centres. One centre is based in the town and the other is located at the Monte-Carlo Bay for players and their entourages.