Tennis: Hugo Nys knocked out of Roland Garros after facing World No.1 Doubles team 

Monaco’s last man standing at the French Open, Hugo Nys, has been knocked out of the competition along with his Men’s Doubles partner, Jan Zielinski. The pair was defeated by the event’s top seeded duo: Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. 

The 2024 Roland Garros tennis tournament got underway on 26th May and will continue through to 9th June, but there sadly won’t be any players left to fly the Monegasque flag by then.  

After coming up against Marcel Granollers of Spain and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, who are ranked No.1 and No.2 in the world of Men’s Doubles, Monaco’s Hugo Nys and his playing partner, Jan Zielinski of Poland, have been knocked out of the competition in the Third Round. 

Speaking ahead of the match, Guillaume Couillard, the trainer for Tennis de Monaco, warned that Granollers and Zeballos would be difficult to beat. 

“[They are] the world’s top Men’s Doubles team,” he said. “They are the pairing to beat in 2024.” 

Nys is currently ranked No.30 in the Men’s Doubles ratings, while Zielinski is ranked No.29.  

Nys, Arneodo and Vacherot all out

Monaco’s other players, Romain Arneodo and Valentin Vacherot, both went out in the First Round.  

 Vacherot fell to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Men’s Singles while Arneodo and his Swiss Doubles partner, Sam Weissborn, were beaten by the UK’s Luke Johnson and Tunisia’s Skander Mansouri. 

33-year-old Nys and his Mixed Doubles partner, Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan, also failed to move beyond the First Round stage of the tournament.

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Photo credit: Fédération Monégasque de Tennis, Facebook

AS Monaco Rugby miss out on Fédérale 1 promotion

as monaco rugby

After a stellar season, AS Monaco Rugby saw their hopes for a promotion into the Fédérale 1 league dissolve over the weekend following a defeat at the hands of Union Sportive Nantua.  

On 2nd June, AS Monaco Rugby travelled to Ain in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region to take on Union Sportive Nantua in the Fédérale 2’s Round of 16.

The game’s final score of 20-12, in favour of the home side, mean that AS Monaco’s dreams of ascension into the Fédérale 1 league are over for 2024.

See more: AS Monaco Rugby to usher in new era with new clubhouse opening

“A defeat that feels like a blow from a sledgehammer… Unfortunately, we must resign ourselves to leaving behind the dream of reaching Fédérale 1. A cruel end, but our season was so much more than just that. What an incredible year for our team! Our players and staff can be proud of their journey,” reads a statement that was released by the club on social media after the match. “Thank you to all our fans for your unwavering support. Congratulations to the Nantua club, to whom we wish all the best after this epic battle.”

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Photo credit: AS Monaco Rugby, Facebook

Interview: Luciano Manzo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish International

Luciano Manzo make-a-wish international

For decades, Make-A-Wish has been fulfilling the dreams of children battling critical illnesses around the world. A cherished wish can transform their lives and change the course of their illness, but with so many children to reach, Make-A-Wish International has set itself a new challenge: to double the number of wishes fulfilled by 2030. The charity, led by Luciano Manzo, is turning to Monaco to help reach that goal. 

Since 2020, Luciano Manzo has spearheaded Make-A-Wish International, transitioning from a corporate CEO to a charitable leader. This shift from “profit to relevance” has been “an honour and a real privilege”, he tells Monaco Life’s Cassandra Tanti.

On 16th June, over a hundred VIP guests, celebrities and notable Monaco residents will be gathering at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort for the Night of 100 Stars, a charity event organised by Make-A-Wish in collaboration with the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. 

Make-A-Wish CEO and President Luciano Manzo tells us more about the profound impact the charity has on critically ill children globally, and how the gala in June is just the beginning.

How did Make-a-Wish International come about? 

Make-A-Wish started in 1980 in Arizona, United States, with a little boy in Phoenix called Chris Greicius who was battling leukaemia and wanted to be a police officer. His community managed to grant his wish, and it was the first spark of a big movement that then translated into Make-A-Wish America, which has 52 chapters in the US, and Make-A-Wish International, which is responsible for everything outside of the US and includes 40 affiliates serving children in 50 countries around the world. 

How many wishes have been granted in that time? 

Since its inception, we have granted more than 550,000 wishes, which to put it into perspective, is about 10 football stadiums filled with the children that have received wishes. But the wish is not only for the child – it impacts the family, the siblings and the community. So if you multiply 550,000 by two, four, five… you can see the impact their wishes have on the entire community. 

Last year, we granted around 36,000 wishes worldwide, which is one every 16 minutes. It sounds great, but if you consider recent studies in the 50 countries where we operate that show a child is diagnosed with a critical illness every 22 seconds, the gap between 16 minutes and 22 seconds is significant. So, that’s what we are aiming for – to bridge that gap.

What impact does the granting of a wish have on the critically ill children who make them? 

The wish is not only a fleeting gift, it is a turning point in their fight against the illness, when the child replaces fear with hope for the future, and realises that the impossible can be possible. 

John, a four-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer from Germany, wished to be a superhero

Tell us about the process of granting a wish? 

A child is normally referred to us by a medical team, parents or family, or perhaps someone who has heard about a wish. The child is then interviewed so we can determine their real wish and the effect that granting their wish will have on their mental wellness. This is what we call the ‘wish capture’. 

Once the wish is captured, a team of ‘wish grantors’ design the wish with all of their creativity to make it a memorable event. We like to say that we translate a moment into memories for life, so the wish, no matter how simple, is always wrapped in magic with something special and unforgettable for the child. 

Then, there is the ‘wish delivery’. It’s a special day for the child, as well as the family and community. After that, there is the ‘wish analysis’, to measure the impact and to ensure that everything worked well. 

We call this entire process the ‘wish journey’, and this is the uniqueness about Make-A-Wish; the various phases that build up the excitement, expectations and hope of the child. 

What kind of wishes do you grant? 

We have very complex wishes that take a lot of effort deliver, like a young boy in Canada who wanted to be Prime Minister for a week. The Canadian Parliament had a special session to nominate this little boy as Prime Minister, while Justin Trudeau sat on the other side of the desk for a week. As you can imagine, that type of wish takes a lot of work, networks, contacts and moral suasion. 

We also have very simple wishes, like a girl in India who wished to have a tablet. When I asked her if she wanted to play with the tablet, she responded, “No I’m going study because I have spent too much time away from school.”

Make-A-Wish is such a well known charity. Do you still face challenges? 

There are always challenges. Of course, we can never have enough financial means, because there are so many children out there. 

There is also the misconception that we only deal with terminal children. The vast majority of our children actually get over their illnesses and become our ambassadors, our testimonials. Like Kiara, an Italian girl who is speaking at the gala in Monaco in June. She was granted a wish to go to New York, and afterwards she had an incredible recovery from her blood disease. She is now in her third year of medical school. 

There is a small percentage of children who are terminally ill unfortunately, and the parents we speak to after their child has flown to Heaven remember the wish granting as a very special and happy moment for their child. 

Another challenge is the fact that Make-A-Wish International has a network of very diversified countries. A child in France or Switzerland can take a pill and their life is no longer in danger, for example, while that is not often the case for a child in India, Pakistan or China.

Fanfan, a four-year-old cancer sufferer in Shanghai, wished to be a police officer

What are you hoping to achieve at the Night of 100 Stars gala in Monaco in June, which is being held in partnership with the Monte-Carlo Television Festival?

The event is going to be very intimate, only 120 people maximum, because we want to test the receptiveness and the level of sensitivity we get from the audience. Then, we would like to build on this so it eventually becomes the flagship event for Make-A-Wish International. I think there is the right environment and the right profile of people that can help us sustain the cause. 

Is this part of your growth strategy moving forward for Make-A-Wish International?

It is the first public event we have organised in many years, and we would love to have Monaco as our homebase for the event every year. We are very grateful that the Monte-Carlo Television Festival invited us to be their official charity, a first in the history of the festival. 

Last year we developed ‘Vision 2030’, a plan based on the following pillars… Firstly, geographic expansion: we aim to add 10 new affiliates by 2030, and by adding new territories we will be able to reach more children. 

The second pillar is ensuring that we double the size of our revenue every five years so we are able to better support the network, to provide more sophisticated services and to hire and retain professional talent. 

All of this is to double the number of wishes by 2030. The third milestone for us will be what I call the ’25 by 25′ – that’s 25,000 wishes by 2025, then doubling that to 50,000 by 2030. 

The fourth pillar is making sure that we remain a great place to work, because the most important asset is our people. 

And last but not least, to ensure that we continue to inspire our community by walking the talk; to inspire trust and confidence, and provide value to the network so that it grows in a healthy and robust way, so that Make-A-Wish International is reaching as many children as possible in all of our territories. 

To support Make-A-Wish International and/or take part in the Night of 100 Stars charity event on 16th June, click here for tickets.


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Main photo of Luciano Manzo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish International, and a wish recipient in India. All photos courtesy Make-A-Wish International


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France: New Origin’Info label will identify the sources of processed foods

The French government is in the midst of launching a new labelling system called Origin’Info that will give consumers a better idea of the sources and ingredients being used in popular processed food products.  

The Origin’Info logo is due to arrive on packaging this summer. Either in black or a dark blue, the label will identify the national origins of ingredients used in the production of a variety of processed foods, from frozen pizzas and flavoured yoghurts to ready meals and cereals. 

This information will be presented in three formats. The first will list the main agricultural ingredients’ countries of origins; the second will also designate the place of production, such as a factory in Germany, for example; and the third will provide a chart that breakdowns the relative share of each country’s contribution in the composition of the product. 

The second format of the Origin’Info labels that customers will begin seeing on processed food products in the coming weeks and months. Photo source:

The label may be presented as a QR code, an electronic label, or directly on the products, as well as on any online sites that sell the items in question. 

It will be initially a voluntary scheme – around 80 major producers of processed food items have agreed to sign up thus far – but a review is scheduled to take place in 2025, at which point the labelling system could be rolled out across the country. The list of the brands that will be implementing the new style of labelling can be found here

To read more about the Origin’Info label and how it will work, click here.

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Photo source: Naseem Buras, Unsplash


Interview: Thierry Boutsen shares his secrets to success in the aviation and classic car industries

In this interview with Monaco Life, F1 driver-turned-business magnate Thierry Boutsen talks about the successes he has enjoyed at the helm of Boutsen Aviation, the innovations he is driving and the cars he will be presenting with his son at the upcoming edition of Top Marques Monaco.  

24 years after the launch of Boutsen Aviation, the firm is celebrating the 20th sale of a Falcon 7X. 

“It’s a great satisfaction in all aspects,” Thierry Boutsen tells Monaco Life, adding how he and his team like to visit each customer personally following the conclusion of a sale.  

The very first collaboration with Dassault, which designs and engineers the Falcon fleet, came back in 2002 when Boutsen sold a Falcon 20 that had previously been owned by Prince Rainier III.

“It was a fireworks moment for us as this was our very first Falcon,” he reveals.  

The interior of a Falcon 7X. Photo supplied

A lot has happened since then. The recent sale of the Falcon 7X is the 422nd sale to be handled by Boutsen and his team in an impressive 72 countries worldwide.  

“Each of these sales is like a victory,” says Boutsen. “The most significant thing that I am very proud of is that we sold aeroplanes from all manufacturers involved in the aviation business.” 

This sense of magnanimity, and of inclusivity, permeates Boutsen Aviation, with the founder saying that his recipe to success in managing a team is where, “There’s no such thing as a person being more important than the other one in Boutsen Aviation.”  

Another key element is being ready to adapt and to update, to innovate and be prepared for change.  

Low-emission planes are one sector of the market that Boutsen is keeping his eye firmly on. Trends happen quickly, he says, and it’s important not to miss the moment. 

Boutsen Classic Cars at Top Marques

But while his focus is on the aviation industry, the former F1 driver is always abreast with the luxury automobile sector, as evidenced by his preparations for the upcoming edition of Top Marques Monaco, which will be held between 5th and 9th June at the Grimaldi Forum. 

Of the 150 or so supercars on show here, around a dozen or so will be representing Boutsen Classic Cars. 

His son and the co-founder of this branch of the business, Cedric, will be helping Thierry to man the company’s 80sqm metre space at the Grimaldi Forum and field questions on the spectacular line-up of cars and vehicles that the brand will be presenting.  

Among them are a Lamborghini Murcielago and a very special 1990 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 Nomad, which is powered by a 3.5L V8 engine producing 183BHP.  

“This car has been completely restored and renewed to become a high-end Defender,” Boutsen says proudly.  

The “high-end Defender” that Boutsen Classic Cars will be hoping to sell at Top Marques Monaco. Photo supplied

Other pieces include a beautiful 1960 Ferrari 250, a completely restored 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III, an Aston Martin Volante and a Lamborghini Huracan LP 1200 Zyrus, which is one of just nine ever produced. All will be available for sale.  

“My expectation for this year will be to sell a few of these cars as well as expand our network and find new customers,” he says. “My life has been driven by passion, whether it is racing or aviation.” 


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Main photo of Thierry Boutsen (left) and Dominique Trinquet, President of Boutsen Aviation, supplied

Prince Albert II follows his great-grandfather’s footsteps in Cantabria

Monaco’s Prince Albert II has travelled to the Cantabria region in Northern Spain to tour an archaeological centre that bears the name of his great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, a man described by the site’s curators as the ‘Prince of Prehistory’. 

On Friday 31st May, Prince Albert swapped the Mediterranean for the Atlantic and headed to the town of Puente Viesgo in the Spanish region of Cantabria.  

His primary destination was the Centro de Arte Rupestre de Cantabria Alberto I de Mónaco (CARC), a museum that presents the various findings and artefacts unearthed over the years at this celebrated cave network and archaeological site.  

Prince Albert I, the great-grandfather of Monaco’s current sovereign, Prince Albert II, was one of the biggest champions of this Cantabrian locale as a place of significant historical interest during the early 20th century and played a major role in the excavations that discovered the traces of the first human settlements in the region here.  

The Prince officially inaugurated a temporary exhibition honouring the work of Prince Albert I of Monaco, his great-grandfather. Photo credit: Axel Bastello / Palais Princier de Monaco

During his recent visit, today’s Prince Albert was tasked with unveiling a commemorative plaque honouring the work of his forebear at the museum as well as a temporary exhibition that explores Prince Albert I’s contributions to the legacy of the cave network. The exhibition was put together with the help of the Archives of the Palace in Monaco and the Principality’s own Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology. 

Other notable figures who joined Prince Albert at the ceremony included: the President of the Government of Cantabria; the President of the Parliament of Cantabria; the Mayor of Puente Viesgo; Catherine Fautrier, the Ambassador of Monaco to Spain; and the Director of the CARC, Roberto Ontañón. 

The Director of the CARC, Roberto Ontañón, took Prince Albert II on a tour of the museum’s permanent exhibitions. Photo credit: Axel Bastello / Palais Princier de Monaco

Following a guided tour of the museum, which was personally led by Ontañón, Prince Albert oversaw the signing of a special agreement between the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of Monaco and the Government of Cantabria.  

According to representatives for the Prince, “This agreement will promote scientific and cultural cooperation in the field of prehistory.” 


To see more of the visit, click on the images below:  

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Photo credit: Axel Bastello / Palais Princier de Monaco