April 14, 2014 by Parveer Mann
This week’s Monte Carlo Masters means a return to one of the most scenic venues in all of tennis, Court Central at the Monte Carlo Country Club. The sea-side court located in a suburb of Monaco (that actually resides in France) straddles both the coast and hills to provide an intimate and awe-inspiring experience for players and fans.
Founded in 1928, the Monte Carlo Country Club has grown into a luxurious resort and tennis academy with over 21 courts but the crown jewel remains Court Central. Its defining feature is the proximity and visibility of the Mediterranean Sea beyond one end of the court. The sea-side landscape is novel in tennis where stadiums and facilities are built on large expanses on the outer realms of cities. Even Crandon Park (in Key Biscayne) is still quite removed from the ocean and reinforces how unique of a venue Monte Carlo is.
However, at a relatively small 9000 seats, it has a sort of exclusivity that makes sense for the ultra-rich Monaco. It is full of premium loges on either baseline (court side suites that can also be seen at Roland Garros) but due to limited space, it also has steep bleachers on either side. For many, it remains largely inaccessible in a way that most other premium venues are not whether it be location or size. Those who attend the tournament (fan or player) do largely enjoy the experience and the charm of the site.
Regardless who wins this week (the betting favourite is Rafael Nadal), Court Central will continue to amaze and endure as one of the sports’ unique and noteworthy stadiums.
Name: Court Central at Monte Carlo Country Club
Location: Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France
Tournament(s) held: Monte Carlo Masters