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Monte Carlo Masters 2024

Top five surprise performers at Monte Carlo Masters 2024

Published at :April 17, 2024 at 3:21 PM
Modified at :April 17, 2024 at 3:21 PM
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(Courtesy : India Today)

Siddharthan P

Sumit Nagal became the first Indian to win a Main draw match at Monte Carlo.

The Monte Carlo Masters 2024 tournament faced unexpected setbacks as tennis titans withdrew from the prestigious event. Rafael Nadal, the 11-time champion in the Principality, announced his withdrawal even before the tournament commenced.

Joining Nadal were Carlos Alcaraz and Felix Auger-Aliassime, who cited discomfort in the right arm and pain in the right knee, respectively. These high-profile absences cast a shadow over the tournament, leaving fans and organizers alike disappointed as they prepared to witness a star-studded lineup.

Despite the event being a top drawer-for big players, there were a few players who surprised the fans with their performances. Let’s look at the top five surprise performers at the recently concluded Monte Carlo Masters 2024.

Top surprise performers at Monte Carlo Masters 2024

Sumit Nagal

Sumit Nagal reached a major career milestone when he became the first Indian player to win a main draw match at the ATP Masters 1000 on a clay court, creating history for Indian tennis. Against all odds, the unseeded Nagal qualified for the main draw of the competition and became only the third Indian to have done so.

Previously Vijay Amritraj in 1977 and Ramesh Krishnan in 1982 have reached the coveted feat. In the first round, he took on Matteo Arnaldi and registered a come-from-behind victory. While the entire focus on the Indian contingent was on Rohan Bopanna, Nagal’s win was a pleasant surprise for the Indian fans.

Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen

The Belgian pair of Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen won their first-ever Masters title by lifting the trophy at the Monte Carlo Masters. They proved to be one of the biggest surprise packages for many teams as they defeated the defending champions and second seeds Austin Krajicek and Ivan Dodig in the second round.

They defeated Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers, the third seed, to advance to their first ATP Masters 1000 final. In the championship match, they defeated Marcelo Melo and Alexander Zverev with a score of 7-5, 3-6, [10-5].

Alexei Popyrin

The Monte Carlo Masters saw a huge upset early on this year thanks to Alexei Popyrin, who defeated Andrey Rublev, the reigning champion, 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the round of 16. The Australian was the first person from Down Under to guarantee a spot in the Monte Carlo Masters round of 16 in 20 years. Unusually, the Russian world No. 6 Rublev offered no resistance to the Australian’s diverse strategy.

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Mate Pavic/Marcelo Arevalo

Mate Pavic and Marcelo Arevalo had a difficult start to 2024, having failed to cross the third round in any events, with the ATP 250 title in Hong Kong being the exception. They weren’t expected to make a mark, but they shocked everyone by knocking out the top-seeded pair of Rohan Bopanna and Mathew Ebden in the Round of 16.

The men’s double duo reached the semifinals where they were defeated by the last year’s finalists, Alexander Zverev and Marcelo Melo. It was refreshing to see another pair bring the challenge as the clay season heats up.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Every sportsperson has a liking for a particular stadium/tournament, and for Stefanos Tsitsipas, it is the Monte Carlo Masters. Tsitsipas has won this ATP 1000 Masters event twice before, but he was not a favourite this time, given the form he showed in 2024.

The moment he stepped onto the clay of Monaco, he became a different beast and defeated higher-seeded players like Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev. In the final, he took on Casper Ruud, against whom he lost in the semifinals of the Los Cabos Open. But this time, Greek unraveled his core best to give a straight set pounding to Norwegian.

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