Monte-Carlo Masters: Andy Murray crashes out and more Monégasque misery

Andy Murray at the Monte-Carlo Masters

Andy Murray has crashed out of the Monte-Carlo Masters in straight sets against Alex De Minaur, whilst Monaco’s Australian Open finalist Hugo Nys has also lost his first-round encounter.

It was a physically lethargic Murray that took to the centre court of the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the first day of the main competition on Monday. Within two minutes, the former Grand Slam winner wasn’t moving completely freely, and it seemed his hamstring was giving him bother.

Murray didn’t manage to exert any pressure on his Australian opponent, who has had the better of him in their previous two meetings. The Scot was broken in the first game, and it was a sign of things to come. After losing the first set 6-1, there were signs of resistance early in the second set.

Photo credit: Andy Murray and Alex de Minaur by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

However, that resistance was futile and fleeting. Ultimately, Murray made too many unforced errors, whilst De Minaur played a clean game without having to push himself to the limits.

De Minaur secured his third consecutive victory over Murray (6-1, 6-3), as the Scot, whose participation in the tournament was only confirmed days before the beginning of the tournament, makes an early exit.

Hugo Nys fails to secure win in doubles

After Lucas Caterina’s and Hugo Nys’ defeats in singles qualifying over the weekend, there was further Monégasque disappointment on Monday. Nys lined up alongside partner Jan Zielinski in the doubles, attempting to recreate their success Down Under.

Photo of Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski and by Monaco Life, Luke Entwistle

However, it wasn’t to be. Austin Krajicek and Ivan Dodig won the first set by tie-break (7-6) and then broke early in the second. “We had chances, but we didn’t take them,” bemoaned Nys post-match. Those missed chances were costly, as Nys and Zielinski slumped to a surprise early exit.

“We have lots of hope!”

Guillaume Couillard, captain of the Monaco Davis Cup team reflected on the “frustrating” defeat. “You have to manage to win when you’re not playing at your best. With a bit of madness, a bit of grinta, even a bit of luck, they could have got through it. It’s frustrating because they didn’t play at their level, the level they’re capable of playing,” said Couillard.

“It’s difficult to win all the time. Only one team wins a tournament, and 99% go home as losers,” he told Monaco Life. 

Photo of Hugo Nys by Monaco Life, Luke Entwistle

Romain Arneodo and Valentin Vacherot are yet to play. The latter plays his singles match on Tuesday, whilst the former will feature alongside Tristan-Samuel Weissborn in a doubles match on Wednesday. The odds are maybe stacked against Arneodo, with Alexander Zverev on the other side of the net.

“All our hopes are behind [Valentin]. He’ll have a good chance. He’s a very good player. Romain is coming up against a difficult pairing, but we have lots of hope!” Couillard told Monaco Life. 

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Latin flair at this year’s Salon International du Livre de Monaco

Salon International du Livre de Monaco

The upcoming 12th Salon International du Livre de Monaco has a packed schedule filled with some of the world’s best-known writers. A bonus this year: there will be a special focus on authors coming out of Panama, Uruguay and Argentina organised by AMLA.  

Over the course of two days, 15th and 16th April, the Salon International du Livre de Monaco at the Grimaldi Forum will welcome a packed house with 177 writers on hand. This array of talent will be holding public discussions and speaking on topics relevant not only to their works, but also to the world-at-large. 

As part of this event, a special treat awaits with the presence and support of ambassadors, critics, editors and authors from Panama, Argentina and Uruguay at the Latin American Literature Conference. This will be held on Saturday 15th from 11.45am to 12.15pm at the AMLA stand.  


For lovers of Latin America, this is a can’t-miss opportunity to hear some of the region’s great minds speaking on themes relevant to them. 

For example, Panama’s Ambassador to Monaco and France, Issamary Sanchez Ortega, will speak on her nation’s unique ecosystem and sustainability goals while González Trejos will recount Panamanian literature, emphasising narrative in the last century and a half, and Miguel Franco will speak on the history of the noir genre both in prose and poetry in Panama’s Republican period.  

Uruguayan Ambassador Jorge Luis Jure will hold a talk on Uruguayan Authors and the Sea, Mercedes Rosende will tell crowds about her latest novel called L’Autre Femme, and writer, editor and critic Antoine Barrale will speak about the evolution of Uruguayan literature.  

Finally, Argentinian author Eduardo Fernando Varela will be introducing his latest book, Roca Pelada, which is filled with hilariously funny and almost magical moments set against a backdrop of some of the world’s highest mountain tops. 


The Salon International du Livre de Monaco was created in 2012 by Les Rencontres Littéraires Fabian Boisson as a way to present new and established literary talent and ideas from around the globe in an intimate setting.  

This year, the Salon will feature, in addition to the Latin American event, novelist and journalist Pierre Assouline, politician Jean-Louis Debré and actress Emmanuelle Seigner, who will tell of how she experienced the storm of controversy around her husband, Roman Polanski. 

Entry to the 12th Salon International du Livre de Monaco is, and in past editions, free and open to the public.  


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Photo source: Nick Fewings for Unsplash

Lego and street art amongst fun new workshops for kids at A Fàbrica

The A Fàbrica centre at the Princess Antoinette Park is hosting several new children’s workshops starting in April, giving kids a chance to hone fresh skills and learn something new.

A Fàbrica centre at Princess Antoinette Park has long been a favourite for parents in the know, offering cool monthly eco-fun workshops. Now, the Principality’s Community Entertainment Service is adding some events that are sure to draw both parents and kids alike.

Atelier Lecture: ‘Mon p’tit poulailler’

First up is a reading event in collaboration with the association La Valise à Histoires. These 45-minute sessions are perfect for children aged 18 months to six years, and consist of a facilitator run story-telling part, followed by a time where little ones can handle the books themselves, instilling the idea that books are special and need to be looked after with care as well as with amusement.

The sessions are organised by age group with events running at 3pm, 3:45pm and 4:30pm. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 12th April with the reading of Mon p’tit poulailler. It’s a free event, but reservations are required and can be made on +377 93 15 29 33.

Atelier de Briques Lego

Next up is a Lego workshop in association with Bricks 4 Kidz. This reservation-only event focuses on using creativity to build and construct, and is based on an amusement park theme. It will be held on Tuesday 25thApril at 2pm and 3:30pm for kids aged six to 13. To book a free spot, ring +377 93 15 29 33.

Atelier Jardinage

Co-hosted by a speaker from the Monaco Media Library and a gardener from Princess Antoinette Park, a gardening workshop, Atelier Jardinage: Médiathèque Hors les Murs, will take place on Friday 28th April from 9:30am to 11:30am. Kids will be able to handle seedlings and be taught how to nurture plants, giving them the joy of watching them continue to grow. This free event requires a reservation to be made by calling +377 93 15 29 40.

Atelier Street Art

Finally, for the budding artists is the Atelier de Street Art, hosted by @jess9art. Kids aged seven to 10 can join on Saturday 13th May from 9:30am to 12:30pm for their shot at creating some awesome street art, followed by another session for kids aged 11 and up from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. Reservations are required also for this free event, and must be made at +377 93 15 29 33.


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Basketball: Novak Djokovic attends Roca Team defeat

Monaco's Mike James v Partizan Belgrade

AS Monaco Basketball succumbed to defeat in a dead rubber against Partizan Belgrade (84-88) on Friday in front of Novak Djokovic, who was in attendance ahead of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

The end result of Monaco’s match against their Serbian opponents was ultimately inconsequential. The Roca Team have already secured their place in the Euroleague’s top four, meaning they will have home-court advantage for the upcoming playoffs.

Partizan, however, do still have something to play for, and as things stand, they will face Monaco in the Euroleague quarter-finals thanks to Friday’s victory. However, one game remains, and Monaco’s post-season opponent could yet change. Fenerbahçe and Maccabi Tel-Aviv are the alternatives and are joint on wins with Partizan.

The Roca Team trailed for much of the match, but despite at one point facing a 15-point deficit (38-53), they fought back to parity to make for an exciting money-time, during which Partizan ultimately prevailed.

Novak Djokovic: “It was an amazing atmosphere.”

Despite being a Monaco resident, the result likely pleased Djokovic, who dropped into the Salle Gaston Médecin to watch the Serbian side prevail against the Roca Team.

Novak Djokovic at the Salle Gaston Médecin
Photo of Novak Djokovic by AS Monaco Basket

“It was an amazing match and it was an amazing atmosphere. Partizan played really well for most of the match and were leading, but then Monaco showed why they’re one of the best teams in the Euroleague this season. It was so close,” said the Serbian tennis player.

Djokovic isn’t the first tennis player to sample the Princiaplity’s basketball offering. Two-time Monte-Carlo Masters winner Stefanos Tsitsipas has attended matches this season, whilst Alexander Zverev witnessed a Roca Team victory last week.

Roca Team return to winning ways

Monaco were looking to bounce back on the Sunday when they faced Pau-Lacq-Orthez in the Betclic Elite. After an early scare (0-7), Les Monégasques fought back to comfortably beat their French opponents (72-94). The Roca Team have four wins more than their nearest challenger Boulogne-Levallois. “Even if we have a lead in the standings, we’re not going to ease off,” assured captain Yakuba Ouattara.

Monaco face Dijon on Wednesday before facing Anadolu Efes in the final game of the Euroleague regular season on Friday.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket

“Deadliest avalanche of the season” kills several on Easter Sunday

A fifth person has been found dead and one is still missing after an avalanche near Mont Blanc in southeastern France on Sunday, the local prosecutor’s office has said. 

One of the country’s deadliest avalanches in years swept down the Armancette glacier on Sunday in the Alps, killing two mountain guides and engulfing around 15 people.

After the discovery of four victims on Sunday, prosecutor Karline Bouisset said the body of a 39-year-old woman had been found and “a sixth person is still missing”.

One person suffered slight injuries in the avalanche while eight others also swept up were unharmed, the prefecture said.

The avalanche covered an area of 1,600 metres by 500 metres.

Skiing conditions had been “good” on Easter Sunday, the mayor of the town of Contamines-Montjoie, Francois Barbier, told AFP.

“I think it’s the most deadly avalanche this season.”

No avalanche warning had been issued for the region by weather authority Meteo France, but a combination of warmth and wind may have been behind the disaster, according to the prefecture.

“We’re thinking of (the victims) as well as of their families,” President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.

Two brothers died in an avalanche on the same glacier in 2014, both were experienced climbers in their 20s.


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Monaco Life with AFP. Photo credit: Marc Kargel on Unsplash


Monaco Age Oncologie using cutting-edge technology for treatment of the elderly

The 2023 Monaco Age Oncologie conference brought together specialists working in the fields of geriatric oncology and peripheral elderly care to set out the latest in treatments, technology and support for the aged, who account for two in three new cancer cases each year.

Held at the Fairmont Hotel on 22nd and 23rd March, the Monaco Age Oncologie (MAO) congress saw over 550 multidisciplinary specialists, oncologists, geriatricians, nursing staff, nutritionists, psychologists, and heads of associations who work with seniors with cancer.

Nearly two-thirds of the 380,000 new cancer cases in France occur in the over-75’s each year, and the numbers are expected to rise as the enormous baby boomer population continues to age. The MAO addresses the issues involved in dealing with cancer in older people as well as looking at new inventive ways to treat and care for them.

Some innovative new methods were presented, including one by two nurses who conducted a patient care programme using immersive 3D glasses. The 3D environment relaxed nervous patients, particularly during chemotherapy treatments.

“The two authors of this program discovered the potential of these 3D glasses here a few years ago,” said Mauro Lena, President at Lena Group and organiser of the event. “They adapted it to their circumstances and applied it. Today this method of care is not only operational in their hospital, but arouses the interest of many other establishments for multiple applications.”

Accelerated Workshop in Oncology (WAO)

MAO was preceded by the first edition of the Accelerated Workshop in Oncology (WAO) devoted to general oncology. It featured a series of workshops and meetings led by specialists in gynaecology, thoracic oncology, digestive oncology, urology and supportive care.

Leno summed up the heart of the event, saying, “It makes it possible to establish a concrete inventory and to draw up clear perspectives through presentations made by very active specialists. It reviews, in an exhaustive manner, treatment methods, feedback, and analysis of the results of preclinical and clinical studies, describes regulatory developments and makes it possible to plan effectively for the future. It’s a hub.”

The Monaco Age Oncologie was held with the support of the Lena Group, the Monaco Scientific Centre and the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, in collaboration with the Francophone Society of Oncogeriatrics.

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Photo credit: Christian Langballe on Unsplash