The Monte-Carlo Masters organizers announced no spectators are allowed into the 114th edition of the tournament.
The official statement reads: “We wish to inform you that the ROLEX MONTE-CARLO MASTERS will take place from 10 to April 18, behind closed doors, in accordance with the latest government measures which extend the state of health emergency until May 3, 2021.”
“Our teams remain fully mobilized and motivated to welcome the best players in the world who, despite this particularly difficult period, will be here to provide a spectacular event.”
Recently, there has been a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Principality, despite its small population.
In 2019, the tournament celebrated at the Monte-Carlo Country Club received the “Award of Excellence for most improved venue”, by the ATP, recognizing its brand new infrastructure.
But last year, the venue could not go ahead, being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, the direction of the tournament issued a statement saying: “It has become clear that the cancellation of our event is the only option to ensure the safety and welfare of the players, spectators, and staff, due to the spread and threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Further adding: “It is with great sadness that we face these exceptional circumstances.”
The reigning champion is 33-year-old Fabio Fognini; the triumph led the Italian player to a career-high No. 12 in the ATP Rankings that year.
The 13th seed recovered from a nearly perfectly played first set by Borna Coric to outlast the Croatian with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.
Playing the last four at the Court Rainier III, he defeated Rafael Nadal in two straight sets 6-4, 6-2.
Over the years, the Spaniard has dominated the prestigious Monte-Carlo tournament, claiming the title on 11 occasions.
Fognini still had one last opponent to beat as he reached the event’s final, Dusan Lajovic, the unseeded player - currently world No. 27 - who had not dropped a set in his journey towards the encounter.
After one hour and 38 minutes, the Sanremo native emerged victorious 6-3, 6-4, becoming the first Italian ATP Masters 1000 champion.
“I was preparing for the match as best I can because he has my ex-coach, and I knew it was going to be really tough, a lot of running,” he said to ATP Media, adding [it’s an] incredible achievement. I am really, really happy.”
Fognini’s former coach at the time was Spaniard Jose Perlas, who continues to coach Lajovic.
The Italian is currently the world No. 17 in the ATP Rankings, having reached the 2021 ATP Cup final in Melbourne as part of Team Italy, defeated by Team Russia, lead by 2021 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev.
Wawrinka, world No. 3 at the time, captured the title with a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 triumph, conquering the first ATP Masters 1000 title of his career.
On March 18, the long-awaited 114th edition of the first of three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments played on clay will unveil its official list of players for the Monte-Carlo Masters.