ATP Masters 1000Monte-Carlo MastersRoger Federer

Federer Accepts Wildcard into Monte Carlo

Big surprise here as Roger has accepted a wildcard into Monte Carlo. Having not played the tournament since 2011 I am surprised he's decided to do so this year. The tournament always keeps a wildcard available to him until the last minute but usually he never takes it.

The question I have does he know he's going to be missing Madrid or Rome because of the new baby or is he playing for ranking points / clay tune up? I would have thought the last thing he needs would be a long hard slog on some of the slowest clay going but he's obviously feeling sharp physically.

Mickey Carlo 2011
Nice View

I've never been a huge fan of Monte Carlo as a tournament ever since my flight to go watch the final there was cancelled due to EyjafjallajΓΆkull erupting. The only saving grace was I only missed Nadal destroy Verdasco in possibly the most one sided Masters 1000 final ever. It was painful to watch.

It's not been a happy hunting ground in recent times for Roger either losing to both Wawrinka and Melzer the last 2 times he's played it. I probably think he's playing it because Madrid or Rome might be touch and go as to whether he plays it. Mirka is looking larger by the day so I'm sure she must be due late April / early May so by playing here he could probably stand a very good chance of being the 4th seed come Wimbledon.

The field is quite strong so it's going to be a test for Fed as both Djokovic and Nadal are in the draw. Murray is missing but he's a clay mug as we witnessed at the Davis Cup vs Fognini so I doubt he would have factored. I'd imagine Roger will make the Quarters or Semi Finals depending on the draw and then it's a bit of an unknown.

I will of course be watching and live chat will be running for all his matches.

My Favourite Monte Carlo Moment

What do you guys think? Why has Fed decided to play Mickey Carlo?


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. I can’t find any place where it says Roger has accepted a wild card. Are you sure about this news Jonathan ?

    1. Come on Ajay, diden’t you know Jonathan once was voted the third most trust vurthy person in the world after Mandela and Roger Federer πŸ˜‰

  2. This is a pleasing surprise. I have interpreted Federer’s reluctance to play Monte Carlo as his giving up defeating Nadal on this slowest surfaces. For Federer had lost to Nadal at the final for three consecutive years. I think Federer is more confident and willing to winning the French Open this year.

    1. How you know if Roger had a reluctance to play Monte Carlo? His decisions to play certain tournaments based on Nadal is ridiculous.

    2. Well he obviously had a reluctance to play it as he hasn’t played it since 2011. As for a reason who knows – not a fan of the area, doesn’t prioritise it etc etc. Could be anything.

  3. Big surprise but I haven’t seen this anywhere. He said in a Davis Cup interview that he had 4 weeks off and then Madrid-that was just over the weekend.

  4. Oh man, this is end 2011/first half of 2012 all over again πŸ™‚ Roger carefully playing tours for points or to “practise” for other tours. Don’t be surprised if he has his journey to world number one already figured out πŸ™‚
    Think Roger will win MC and Rome??? I do πŸ™‚

    If the news is true about him playing MC (meaning, if it is not a late first April fool joke), then so cool, because we won’t have to wait the whole month to see the GOAT πŸ™‚

    Go Roger πŸ™‚

  5. I think he wants to climb up the rankings fast, because in his mind he must feel at least the number 3 player in the world right now (and I don’t see Stan holding it for much longer – Berdych continues to come strong, too). Hopefully Roger will be fit and ready to go in the bigger tournaments… that’s my only personal worry, because in my mind a good Roland Garros result is the best way to prepare himself for Wimbledon.

    1. I dunno about that, playing well at RG hasn’t always guaranteed success at Wimbledon. 2012 he was poor at RG but won Wimbledon. 2011 he made the final at RG then lost QF Wimbledon. I think his year so far he is set up well to do well on grass as he’s feeling confident based on 6 months of solid play irrespective of how he does at the French. Confident play on grass is a must.

  6. I had a feeling he would play MC this year based on the confidence with which he’s been playing this year. I mean, why skip a major or 1000 when you’re on a roll? The ranking points don’t hurt either. You have good point about the timing of the real baby Fed’s arrival. Might be the biggest reason of them all.

  7. This is great news for sure, but I don’t think he’s doing it for the rankings I think he’s doing it because he knows the baby or babies πŸ˜‰ is due either when Madrid or Rome is played, so now he’s sure to get some clay matches before Roland Garros.

      1. Maybe, but if he does itΒ΄s not good publicity for Rolex, the man should be drowning in both RolexΒ΄s and Mercedes πŸ™‚

  8. I hate MC too, ever since Borg made a disastrous comeback there still playing with a wooden raquet! A sad occasion. Bizarre that Roger has decided to play it though. I think you could be right Jonathan that it may be more to do with coming family events than anything else. Well at least it means we don’t have such a long famine to live through.

  9. Yep, as I tweeted I am surprised! But think you r right Jonathan, it must hv to do with baby timing! Can’t really think it is ranking based so can only conclude he may hv to miss Rome?? Delighted to be seeing him in action again so soon and just hope he gets a favourable draw!! No Murray which does actually surprise me as he really needs some points, and some practice on clay! Good scoop Jonathan and can’t wait for yr posts! What an extra treat!!

  10. Slightly surprising, but like you said it might have something to do with his new baby, Roger may even end up missing Madrid and/or Rome. That wouldn’t surprise me.

    I hope Roger can go far here but it will be tough, Mickey Carlo is called Mickey Carlo for a reason and Roger has played a lot these past few weeks. We’ll see. πŸ™‚

    1. maybe its combination! why not, he is on roll and gaining some point now won’t hurt plus babies delivery date conflict with his schedule. it could be πŸ˜‰

    2. The best thing about Mickey Carlo is the location by the sea. Naples looked good too for the Italian Davis Cup vs GB, Although maybe it’s a little bit pretentious in MC. I imagine everyone wants to be Roger’s best friend there but he will be used to that wherever he goes.

      1. Blue sky, turquoise sea and red clay backed by mountain…. Yes, it is a stunning place with beautiful people, though you wonder if they’re here for spectating tennis or opera πŸ˜‰

  11. Interesting. I agree, Madrid and/or Rome might be missed. I do love the setting of MC though. Holding a wild card for Fed every year just shows the man’s popularity throughout the world. Djokovic’s half of the draw?

    1. Sue, was interested to notice someone post a photo on Twitter of a recent edition of a Spanish-language tennis magazine – “Grip”, from Argentina – with Federer on the cover & the headline “everyone’s favorite”.

  12. Stunned here, actually. Agree it must be to do with baby’s due date – though surely that hasn’t changed between December & now. Unless he always planned to make a late adjustment to throw people off? Mainstream media has been reporting a post-Wimbledon due date based, as far as I can tell, on an obscure Swiss-German mag – ie not one of the ones he usually does interviews with – saying it had information from “someone close to the family”. Well, the people who are actually close to this family don’t leak stuff. So either they made it up, or it wasn’t someone close to the family at all, or it was leaked intentionally as misinformation. So with his own site STILL not reporting the schedule change… something doesn’t seem right to me. (Hey, maybe Mirka has actually gone into labour & this is to throw us all off! πŸ™‚ )

    But if it IS true, hey, I’m happy. Agree it gives him more flexibility with potential baby conflicts later in the month. Also agree practice on slow stuff isn’t necessarily a bad idea – maybe he has some ideas about what he could have done at night in Miami – possibly racquet-settings-wise – & wants to try them out.

    1. It’s all over Twitter but even @MCROLEXMASTERS isn’t reporting it. It does all seem to have started with the ATP site…

    2. Nope, Carole Bouchard of l’ had it first. Maybe there was a language delay… though I still find it hard to believe Monte Carlo wouldn’t tweet their own coup. Although now notice they have at least 3 different accounts, some of which are clearly no longer in use; maybe social media isn’t their forte.

    3. Hey I like that reasoning too as the racquet is totally unproven on slow clay! Last yr he was still tinkering and still injured! Interesting interview he gave yesterday saying he still has aims for a Major this yr so the ambition clearly stated! Babies? Racquets? Rankings? All three? Just excited to see him playing! Hoping for semis at least!!

    4. I too assume it’s something to do with the baby due date. I suppose it’s conceivable that the doctors could have revised their estimate forwards. I’m a bit surprised he’s missing his training block, or perhaps he’s just moved that on a bit. Thinker’s got a point that there might be a connection with the racquet too: if he tries it this week and decides that it needs a bit of tweaking for clay, there’s time to do something about it before the serious stuff comes along.

    5. Oh, and I can’t believe people believed that about the July due date, anyway. I may not be hugely experienced in the matter, but even I said when the report came out that there was no way July was feasible to judge by Mirka’s size at the time.

  13. Its surprise Roger is taking wild card for MC, which is pretty slow. As u mentioned reason might be Mirka’s delivery . I hate clay swing. Hope Roger does well.

    1. Yeah clay worst part of year but usually some memorable matches along the way which improves it. I think most matches are pretty dull but sometimes one can catch fire.

  14. If someone can find a link to where I can buy that shirt Fed is wearing on the picture IΒ΄ll buy it ad once, I never got to buy it at that time and now itΒ΄s haunting me, I want it but canΒ΄t find it! Help needed πŸ™‚

    1. eBay is your best bet, none of the major retailers hold stock of old shirts as they are just taking up valuable space that can be used for newer stuff that is selling in droves.

  15. If only I knew sooner… πŸ™

    As soon as hearing Jonathan’s tweet, I tried to get a ticket last night since I live less than an hour away. But all gone already! Oh Roger are you kidding me?

    1. MC Site is saying they have reserved a certain number for direct sale at the ticket booth on the day – though not what that certain number is.

  16. Hey guys, just like you all I am really pleased that Roger will play MC. A month without our Goat is just too much. Cannot handle that πŸ™‚
    I have a feeling he will win MC and Rome this year (if he plays those). But I do think Roger is playing MC to gain points. Maybe he wants the nr 3 spot. Maybe he thinks he can “push” Stan from that because of the way Stan is playing. And maybe, like you all say, he wants to get the practise because he knows he will miss one or two tours because of the due date.

    My only worry is that he will be too tired. Roger is not young anymore and I did see him gasping for air like three times (don’t know if I called it right, but he was blowing air???) during the Golubev match….

    1. I seriously doubt that getting to number 3 is a big motivation, considering that 3 and 4 are exactly the same as far as who you can be drawn against in a tournament. Its more about trying to stay in the top 4 to try to avoid a potential quarterfinal against either djoker or rafa

  17. What a news! I was just checking ATPWorldTour web site to find something interesting relating to tennis, then I’ve got this! Fans there are going crazy too.
    It will be a very good strategy for Roger that he will pick up as many points as possible to reinforce his No 4 position when going into the remaining three slams.
    I was dreading yesterday what I am going to do for the next four weeks without Roger’s tennis, now πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Allez Roger!

    1. Yeah he solved a problem there for the fans who were climbing the walls for 4 weeks. I was looking forward to a blogging break but that’s out the window πŸ™‚

  18. Agree with you Jonathan. Roger might have to miss out one of two regular Master events (Madrid and Rome), as baby is on the way. In order not to lose any ground to Birdman in ranking points, playing at the Mickey Carlo becomes plausible. I just hope that he goes in there with confidence, as this will be a tourney for picking up free points. πŸ™‚
    Allez Roger!

    1. I’m sure he will, coming in off winning a decisive 5th rubber for the first time in his career. Mickey Carlo not been a great tournament for him though, he lost to Gasquet, Stan and Melzer!

  19. LOL! Federer retweeted it himself. I think he’s playing really…
    I hope he gets a very weak draw, infact I have amped up my prayers for that as I do not want him to stress himself at all.
    :d, he will win!

  20. btw, but has he started practicing on clay yet. Just checked ATP website and MonteCarlo actually begins on Sunday

  21. 2009 : lost to Rafa in Melbourne, Mirka was pregnant with twins and he took a wildcard in Monte Carlo. And then he won French and Wimbledon. If only he could complete the patterns this year πŸ˜›

  22. After watching Fed win Dubai, RU in IW and lose a winning match in Miami I was a little despondent having to wait a while to watch him play. So I don’t care why he is playing as long as he is playing.

    From a strategy perspective, Fed knows best and I am sure that this is a well thought out move and though I hate clay ( excepting when its blue !! ) I guess here we come – Monte Carlo. Go Fed Go.

    1. You guys are still whining about Miami? You need to grow up. Roger is not going win all his matches. Hating clay because of Nadal doesn’t help either. Roger has won Madrid when it was red clay.

    2. He never said he hated clay because of Nadal. You inferred that. Clay is a surface that plays incredibly slow and favours the baseline grinders over the shotmakers. While it’s true Nadal belongs to the former of those, it doesn’t mean hating baseline grinders means specifically hating Nadal. Some people just enjoy good tennis. And clay less often provides that, I’d say.

      1. Nah….Nice try. Just like Nadal fans don’t like surfaces that don’t suit him. Cincinnati and WTF. Federer has has won both multiple times.

  23. Anything could be possible but I believe it is just that he feels he is in a good shape,
    His game is improving and he doesn’t need that much of a break. Kei accident was due to work overload but that is over now so he should manage to go deep in another 1000 tournament. Very reasonable and such a pleasant surprise for all tennis fans, making MC much more interesting than without the GOAT.
    I imagine organizers should be delighted too.

    I also have the feeling he wont skip Madrid or Rome.

  24. John, you hit the nail on the head when you say that clay favours the baseliners instead of the shotmakers because of its slowness. This allows guys like Nadal and Djokovic to play 20 – 25 shot rallies till one of them hits out or dumps it into the net. Hardly tennis. I remember ridiculous matches between Lendl & Wilander in FO.

    Unfortunately, all surfaces have become slower and thus skill has taken a backseat. Having watched Dubai Open live for the past few years, I must say its great watching there not only for the ambience but the surface I daresay is the fastest and thus you see awesome shotmaking and needless to add Fed has won it so many times and Nadal doesn’t turn up. Coincidence or what ?

  25. Very surprised to hear Roger taking wildcard at MC, not bad strategy actually. He has a decent shot going deep and keeping Birdshit at arm’s length. Good for us fans not having to endure 4 weeks absence, I pray for favorable draw.

    1. The MC site says Saturday, noon local time. That must be…. 11am Jonathan’s time? 6 or 7 am US East Coast time?

  26. Most probably because of family matters while trying to maintain the 4th ATP ranking spot for RG. Skipping Rome or going out early perhaps, to recharge. It could also be to try out how the new racquet plays at the top level on clay. Playing Monte Carlo could give him time to do adjustments before RG, who knows. He hasn’t played with this racquet any matches on clay (as far as I know). Hamburg was quite some time ago and a slightly different racquet I believe.
    I really don’t know why many Fed fans don’t enjoy Rogers clay game. Maybe I got that all wrong. Roger is beautiful on clay. The 2011 semi final against Djokovic is one of the best clay matches I have seen. Sure, Nadal gets to him but he does that on practically every surface nowadays.

    1. I totally agree with you! I absolutely love watching Roger on clay. The artistry and creativeness of his game is highlighted on the dirt, not to mention the fact that he is a beautiful mover on the surface. Obviously Rafa being the best clay courter ever and being a thorn in his side on this surface (and really all surfaces) can leave Fed fans with a bitter taste, but purely from a watchability perspective, I don’t get it how people are hating on the clay.

    2. Yeah no clay matches as of yet with this new racquet, just the purple stuff in Slowami.

      I enjoy watching Fed on clay, he is a good mover on this surface and played some of his best matches on it too. FO 4th Round 2009 vs Haas was quality and the 2011 semi final you mentioned.

      But in general clay court is the most boring to watch IMO when it gets into grinding and grinding. It is good for seeing a players technique though. Henman was good to watch on clay as he tried to end points quick.

      1. Sure, Nadul vs. Novak on clay, not so fun, but Rog vs. anybody but Nadul, quite enjoyable. Occasionally, epic. I find that Roger plays Naduls game on clay but maybe that’s because Nadul forces him to. Vs the rest of the gang, there will be drop shots and angles but not vs Nadul. To sad.

    3. I’ve been fantasising lately that this year Roger will have a big one over Nadull at one of main clay court tourneys, when Nadull feels that he could repeat the same result πŸ™‚ . As days go by and clay tourneys get closer, I become more convinced.
      I, too, feel that Roger plays great on clay and agree with Jarlub that I’ve never seen Roger played so well in that semi-final match against Nole in 2011 RG πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ . I’ve since watched it a few more times on Youtube. Any performance closer to that, my dream could come true πŸ™‚ .

  27. Sorry, Jonathan, I know you were hoping for a nice long rest, but I guess Roger had other plans πŸ™‚

    1. I call BS. When you click on the link, no information can be found and also I can’t found any news of this withdraw anywhere.

      1. You’re right, I don’t see it any more. It was there when I first happened upon it. They probably posted it based on a rumor and have removed it when it proved false.

  28. Roger’s gonna be pissed… Basel is losing 4-0 and have 5mins to score… playing 9 against 11, and won 3-0 and home…

      1. Did you guys see the picture he posted?? Seriously, Roger is such a dorky dude sometimes πŸ™‚
        Watch that picture if you can…. Roger at his best πŸ™‚ Funny dude. Funny Fed πŸ™‚

  29. I’m pleased he’s playing in Monte Carlo, it’s a beautiful setting and maybe he just felt like playing there again, 2011 was the last time, perhaps he wants to give it another crack of the wip. I don’t now anything about the state of Mirkas pregnancy, you think she’ll be due around Rome/Roland Garros…Ok fair enough. I also believe he wants to stay match fit, too long a break can leave you a little rusty, Monte Carlo gives the opportunity to keep his eye in so to speak. As for winning the title, lets not talk too much about for the moment until he’s actually in the final. πŸ˜‰ I really hope he plays in Rome this year, as much as anything he’s got a lot of points to defend, and it’s the final stop before the French. To go with that, it’s my favorite Masters event ; Rome is such a beatiful city, the setting with all the trees around the Foro Italico is stunning, and the Campo Centrale is, I think, the most stylish stadium in tennis (along with Center Court!!), everything about it is elegance personified, like Fed! Not to mention he’s never won there, I would really like him to before he calls it a day…

    1. Me too! Also expecting Fabio Fognini to break thru on clay over next 4/5 weeks! Things cld get interesting!

  30. Hey Simon, did you write that tweet about Roger not signing the woman’s poster but signing the little boy’s poster instead??? If you did, ahh, what a great story. Yes, ofcourse that is Roger and no…… it is not possible to love that man more than I do πŸ™‚

  31. Karma has turned against the bolo-whipper.
    At long last, karma has. Nadal has nearly destroyed everything good and worthwhile about men’s tennis with his dull war-of-attrition style. The days are coming to an end of the long Nadal slogs in which he, in black-hole fashion, sucks every bit of energy away from more talented players

  32. Fed is in MC! First practise today! Posted another dorky tweet (love it) showing his socks red with clay declaring his passion for the red stuff! Let’s hope it loves him back! Is Edberg joining him?? Hope so! All much easier now as big European swing!!

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