Australian Open finalist Hugo Nys: “It was one of the most beautiful sporting performances in Monaco’s history”

hugo nys

Hugo Nys secured his place in Monaco’s sporting hall-of-fame by becoming the first tennis player to reach a Grand Slam final, which he told Monaco Life was “one of the most beautiful sporting performances in Monaco’s history”. 

The Principality of Monaco is known for its tennis, but not necessarily for its tennis players, but Hugo Nys, a native of Évian-les-Bains, changed that, almost overnight in Melbourne. His rise, as well as that of his doubles partner Jan Zielinski, has been incremental, but their partnership, still in its infancy almost bore silver-plated fruit in late January.

We haven’t been together for long, but we already have appearances in a Grand Slam quarter-final and a final. We also won a title on the circuit in Metz. I think that good doubles partnerships are about [stability]. You need automatisms, alchemy, lots of time together and lots of work,” Nys told Monaco Life.

That work during the off-season showed on the hard court of Melbourne at the Australian Open. The Monaco player, 40th in the ATP World rankings going into the tournament, had already fought off an all-Australian doubles cast of Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson on their way to the final, their first in a Grand Slam.

A tough Aussie crowd

However, a different kind of challenge awaited Nys and Zielinski in the final. “Playing against Australians in the Australian Open, they are some of the most fervent fans in the world, perhaps the most fervent. It was mad to play against them; it was very hostile,” said Nys. 

Within that context, Nys and Zielinski lost in straight sets to Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler (6-4, 7-6), in what was a bitter-sweet moment for Nys. “It is always difficult. That creates memories that are at the same time incredible and horrible. It was a bit of a mixed feeling. Lots of sadness after the final, but also a lot of pride having reached a Grand Slam final and to realise that my objectives are achievable,” he said. 

Photo of Hugo Nys and Romain Arneodo by Manuel Vitali

Arriving back in Monaco last Monday afternoon, Nys was already back in training by Tuesday, in preparation for last weekend’s Davis Cup tie against the Dominican Republic. In stark contrast to his experience just a week earlier, Nys was given a warm welcome back to the Riviera by the Monégasque public that packed the stands of the Monte-Carlo Country Club. Nys and his partner Romain Arneodo lapped up the home support on their way to the decisive victory in the tie, which ensured that Monaco remain in Group Two. He will now rejoin Zielinski and set his heights higher once more.

Setting big goals

Nys isn’t lacking in ambition. Last season he set himself the goal of winning the French Open, and whilst that didn’t come to pass, he hopes that the positive momentum created from this early-season achievement will allow him to pull off the exploit this year. However, there is no room for complacency.

“[Winning Roland Garros] was realistic last year, and even more so this year. Every tournament is different. A Grand Slam is six matches to win and lots of things can happen during that time. It’s not because we reached one final that we’ll do the same at the next. They are the most difficult competitions to win in the world. Our job is to work hard and to arrive ready at every big tournament, be it the Monte-Carlo Masters or Roland Garros. We’ll give the maximum and see where that leads us match-by-match,” Nys told Monaco Life. 

Winning the French Open isn’t the only objective that Nys has set himself. After 10 years of representing the Principality “with pride”, Nys now says he feels like “a Monaco player in [his] own right”. Naturally, therefore, the prestigious Monte-Carlo Masters on the iconic clay courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club is high on Nys’ list.

“I have Monte Carlo in the back of my mind. I know it’s coming soon, and I want to play well here. But to play well in Monte Carlo in April, I need to be in the present. To win it would be great, more than great,” he began.

More long-term, Nys described representing the Principality in the Olympic Games as “a dream”, and for the Frenchman to compete at Paris 2024, which represents a home Olympics, would be particularly special.

Photo of Hugo Nys by Manuel Vitali

Having got the 2023 season off to the (almost) perfect start, and counting on a stable and successful partnership with Zielinski, there is reason for optimism for Nys, who regardless, has written an ineffaceable chapter in Monaco’s sporting history.

“It’s true that it’s the first time that a sportsperson from the Principality has reached that level. There is Charles Leclerc in Formula One. In other individual sports, I think it is one of the most beautiful sporting performances in the history of the Principality. I am very, very proud of that. I have represented the Principality for many years, and I want to give many more. If that can give joy to Monégasques, be it to the club, to the federation, to the Palace and to everyone, then that just makes me so happy,” concluded Nys.

At the peak of his powers, the 22nd highest-doubles player in the world has the ambition and the capacity to create many more performances like those displayed in Australia, both this season and beyond. 


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Photo by Manuel Vitali






A diverse Monaco Run programme returns with something for every fitness level

Monaco Run

The Monaco Run, the annual two-day racing event taking place on Quai Albert Ier, attracts everyone from world-class athletes to weekend warriors and families looking for a bit of fun and exercise. To sweeten the pot, Pink Ribbon Monaco will also be joining with their famous five-kilometre walk to bring awareness and raise funds for breast cancer.  

The Monaco Run returns to Port Hercule on 11th and 12th February with five separate events made for young and old.  

The 1,000-metre races will take place on Saturday in a succession of races depending on age. Children and adults can both take part in this fast-paced run, with the first race kicking off at 2pm on the Quai Albert Ier. This a free event, but all runners must be signed up beforehand.  

Sunday features the five-kilometre run at 10am. The race will start from Port Hercule before heading to Monte Carlo Bay, passing through the famous F1 Grand Prix tunnel and then onto Larvotto. This race, though not long in duration, has seen many records broken, including a world record set by Joshua Cheptegei in 2020.  

For a bit more of a trial, the 10-kilometre run is hugely popular, and starts at the same time and place as the five, only participants are challenged to do the course twice. This race too will have professional runners taking place, looking to set records and beat personal bests.  

Sunday also is host day to the City Trail race, which this year can be done in a timed 12-kilometre race or as an untimed seven-kilometre fun run-style event. This unique race takes runners through Monaco’s parks and backstreets as well as past monuments and places of interest such as the Palace and the Oceanographic Museum. The race has an early 8am start.  

Last but not least, Pink Ribbon Monaco’s five-kilometre walk has a 10am start from Port Hercule where participants are asked to get their pink on for a good cause. This easy walk for all was created by Pink Ribbon’s founder Natasha Frost-Savio in 2011, and has grown to the premiere breast cancer awareness event in Monaco.  

To be a part of Pink Ribbon, register online. To register for any other of the Monaco Run events, visit the website.  



Dates for your diary: two February Pink Ribbon events with special guest Noah Wyle


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Photo source: Monaco Run / Facebook

Chef Yannick Alléno to open Pavyllon London in summer 2023

After launching Pavyllon Monte-Carlo in 2022, Yannick Alléno, one of the most Michelin-starred chefs in the world, will open Pavyllon London this summer.

The restaurant will be set within the acclaimed Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane and bring Chef Alléno’s refined neighbourhood dining style to London.

“Partnering with the iconic Four Seasons brand has always been a dream of mine, and I am so excited that this partnership will be conceived in London, where I have long wanted to open,” says Chef Yannick Alléno. “Together, we’ve created a concept that will reflect the contemporary and vibrant nature of the city it will call home, while appealing to locals, visitors, and all who enter its doors.”

Pavyllon London will champion laid-back luxury, pairing fine cuisine with a modern and warm environment – a reflection of the French chef’s long-standing love affair with London and his firm belief that restaurants form the backbone of the city’s social scene.

Pavyllon London will be designed in the same style as Pavyllon Monte-Carlo at the Hôtel Hermitage, with a restaurant counter for guests to take front-row seats at his theatre.

On the menu at Pavyllon London

The menu at Pavyllon London will feature dishes that are rooted in French gastronomy and techniques, while Chef Yannick Alléno draws inspiration from seasonal British produce to create a modern dining experience.

In keeping with Yannick Alléno’s philosophy that chefs have a responsibility to look after the good health of their guests, he will reform classical approaches to cooking by reducing the amount of sugar, fat, and salt in his dishes without compromising flavour or sense of indulgence. Underpinning his philosophy of modern French cuisine are multiple pillars, including Extraction, a technique he developed in 2013, as well as fermentation.

The wine offering has been considered with the help of superstar sommelier Vincent Javaux, and will include prestigious references from some of the world’s best vineyards alongside family-owned chateaus. There will also be a significant selection of wines available by the glass.

The legendary Chef Yannick Alléno

Chef Yannick Alléno is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest chefs, holding 15 Michelin stars across his 14 global restaurants.

In April 2022, Yannick Alléno unveiled Pavyllon Monte-Carlo, taking fine dining in Monaco to a new level.

Since the beginning of his career, he has become known for his reinvention of Modern French cuisine with dishes rooted in French gastronomy but taking inspiration from modern techniques and seasonal ingredients. His three restaurants in Pavillon Ledoyen hold six stars – three at Alléno Paris, two at L’Abysse and one at Pavyllon – making it the most star-rated independent establishment in the world. His restaurant Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, also holds three Michelin stars.



Yannick Alléno unveils Pavyllon Monte-Carlo

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Photo by Monaco Life

EU increases pressure on Russia by boosting fuel price caps

The European Union has put further fuel price caps on Russian oil exports, which it says will help stabilise global energy markets.

The European Commission (EC), together with the international G7+ Price Cap Coalition, on 4thFebruary said it had adopted further price caps for seaborne Russian petroleum products, such as diesel and fuel oil. “This decision will hit Russia’s revenues even harder and reduce its ability to wage war in Ukraine,” said the EC in a statement.

It comes on top of the price cap for crude oil in force since December 2022, and will complement the EU’s full ban on importing seaborne crude oil and petroleum products into the European Union.

“We are making Putin pay for his atrocious war,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. “Russia is paying a heavy price, as our sanctions are eroding its economy, throwing it back by a generation. Today, we are turning up the pressure further by introducing additional price caps on Russian petroleum products. This has been agreed with our G7 partners and will further erode Putin’s resources to wage war. By 24th February, exactly one year since the invasion started, we aim to have the 10th package of sanctions in place.”

Two price levels have been set for Russian petroleum products: one for ‘premium-to-crude’ petroleum products, such as diesel, kerosene and gasoline, and the other for ‘discount-to-crude’ petroleum products, such as fuel oil and naphtha, reflecting market dynamics. The maximum price for premium-to-crude products will be 100 USD per barrel and the maximum price for discount-to-crude will be 45 USD per barrel.

The Price Cap Coalition is composed of Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, the UK, and the US.

EU says price caps are working

The EU says it’s sanctions against Russia are proving effective. “They are damaging Russia’s ability to manufacture new weapons and repair existing ones, as well as hinder its transport of material while reducing its revenues from fossil fuels exports. In response to Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the EU has also adopted a variety of sanctions against Belarus in 2022,” it said in the statement.

As guardian of the EU Treaties, the European Commission monitors the enforcement of EU sanctions across the EU.


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Photo credit: Jens Rademacher on Unsplash

Monaco National Council Elections: One party holds all the power

monaco national council elections

It was a clean sweep for the Union Nationale Monégasque over the weekend, with National Council President Brigitte Boccone-Pagès and her party winning all 24 seats. 

The election results give the Union Nationale Monégasque a solid mandate for the next five years, with each and every party member in the running achieving a dominant lead over their counterparts in the Nouvelle Idées pour Monaco party.

Leader Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, who is the first woman in the history of the Principality to hold the position of president of the National Council, Monaco’s version of a parliament, garnered 3,002 votes for herself. In comparison, Daniel Boeri, who heads up the Nouvelle Idées pour Monaco party and is a mainstay on the Principality’s political scene, got just 731. Once all ballots were in and counted, Nouvelle Idées pour Monaco had managed to scrape just 10% of votes.  

The most popular politician on Sunday 5th February was the Union Nationale Monégasque‘s Nathalie Amoratti Blanc, who currently holds the title of President for the Commission of the Rights of Women and the Family. She took home 3,164 votes.  

Overall, voter turnout was relatively low at 57.26%. Of the nearly 8,000 registered voters in Monaco – these are almost all Monegasque citizens born in or to parents of the Principality – just 4,348 showed up to cast their vote.  

The municipal elections will take place on Sunday 19th March. The Principality’s long-serving mayor, Georges Marsan, is hoping to clinch a historical sixth term. Most recently in 2019, he ran unopposed for the role.  


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Photo: National Council President Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, source National Council 


What to expect from this week’s pension reform protests in France

pension reform protests in france

The latest planned pension reform protests in France on 7th February are set to cause disruptions all across the region, including on trains and public transport networks as well as in schools. 

The anger by unions and other workers over France’s planned pension reforms is showing no sign of letting up. The third strike against the measures is taking place on Tuesday 7th February, and the Alpes-Maritimes region can expect to see some fairly serious disruptions.  

In Nice, demonstrations will commence at 10am at the Théâtre de Verdure. There are also several planned events in the Var including in Toulon, Draguignan and Brignoles.  


Similar to the last two strikes, the worst hit sector will be transport, with local trams and buses almost at a standstill. No trams will be running in Nice full stop and service will be interrupted on Lignes d’Azur lines 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 57, 64, 70, 81, 99 and Cadam Est. The transport service for people with reduced mobility, Mobil’Azur, will be similarly affected. 

Lignes d’Azur will also once again be closing Parcazur car parks and bike parking lots. To ease the blow, the city of Nice is offering free street parking all day.  


SNCF announced over the weekend that “train traffic will be disrupted throughout the southern region”, with only two of five trains running on the southeast axis. The company has said they will issue and update on the schedules at 5pm on Monday


An estimated 20% reduction in flights between Paris Orly and Nice is anticipated at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, with other disruptions expected.  

“In practice, there will undoubtedly be other cancellations (a Nice-Madrid flight from Iberia has already been cancelled) depending on the impact of the strike in each of the regions,” the airport has stated.  

Check flights on the website before leaving for the airport on Tuesday if you’re flying.  


The impact on schools has not quite taken shape, but news is due out on Monday afternoon. The 31st January strike had less participants than the 19th January one, but no one yet knows for sure whether this will continue.  


There has been word that another round of actions will take place on 11th February, this time for those workers who cannot afford to strike mid-week, but who are against the planned reforms, giving them a voice and a platform.  

“The objective of an appeal on 11th February is not so much the percentage of strikers as the fact of having in the street all the employees who do not have the financial capacity to go on strike and respond to calls during the week,” said a representative for Sud-Rail.  

The National Assembly sessions to discuss the reforms begin on 6th February, and already there are over 20,000 amendments being listed by parliamentarians, showing just how deep the controversy goes. 


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Photo source: Radio Emotion