Another week, another Masters postponed.
The 114th edition of the Monte-Carlo tournament will have to wait. But fear not, here are our five favourite matches from the Monaco coast. Get any of them on demand now, or select ‘Add to MY CHANNEL’ to watch whenever you want on any device.
5. Thomas Muster v Boris Becker (Final, 1995)
Becker was still looking for his first clay court title. He had tasted defeat in the Monte-Carlo final twice before in 1989 and 1991. Could this be the moment? The German faced a stern test – none other than the original ‘King of Clay’, Thomas Muster. 25 of the Austrian’s 26 titles had come on the red stuff, and he was unbeaten in twenty matches on clay that year. It would be a stunning battle.
4. Richard Gasquet v Rafael Nadal (Semi-final, 2005)
Richard Gasquet had first announced himself on the world stage when he defeated world number 54 Franco Squillari in Monte-Carlo in 2002 at the tender age of 15. Three years on, he was at it again. He staved off three match points to defeat Roger Federer in the quarter finals, setting up a mouth-watering encounter with tennis’ biggest teen sensation, Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard had already picked up two clay court titles that year and had edged out Gasquet in three sets in Estoril the previous campaign.
3. Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic (Final, 2009)
There are few greater sights in tennis than Nadal and Djokovic battling it out on the red dirt and this is one of their most memorable early encounters. The Spaniard was looking for a record-breaking fifth Monte-Carlo title and had yet to drop a set all week. But Djokovic got off to a blistering start…
2. Stan Wawrinka v Roger Federer (Final, 2014)
Wawrinka was in the form of his life. He had won the Australian Open, risen to a career-high three in the world and now had a shot at his first Masters title. The only trouble was that he had lost 11 matches on the spin against Federer, his sole victory coming in Monte-Carlo five years earlier. Federer must have fancied his chances to wrestle back the number three spot. It would prove far from straight forward.
1. Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal (Final, 2006)
A year on and it’s fair to say that Munster’s old tag looked under threat. Nadal had dominated the previous clay court season – and at this point he was dominating Federer. He had won three of their four encounters, including the final of Doha in March, Federer’s only defeat of the year. It was the world number one’s first shot at the Monte-Carlo crown, and a golden opportunity to set the record straight.