Tennis: Monaco set for “50/50” Davis Cup clash against Ecuador

The Monaco Davis Cup team at the draw ahead of their tie against Ecuador

Monaco’s Davis Cup team are set for a stern test against an experienced Ecuador side at the Monte-Carlo Country Club this weekend. 

After consolidating their place in Group 2 following a victory over the Dominican Republic earlier this year, Monaco are once again looking forward.

It has been a positive season for the Principality’s tennis players: Valentin Vacherot and Romain Arneodo have never been ranked higher, the latter reaching the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters in April, whilst Hugo Nys, an Australian Open finalist at the beginning of the year, recently reached the quarter-finals of the US Open too.

“Will we be slightly feared? Maybe a bit,” said Nys at the draw on Thursday 14th September.

However, Monaco aren’t getting ahead of themselves, and they shouldn’t. Ecuador are an experienced side with a culture of competing in the Davis Cup.

“It is a very big tradition is Ecuador, a very big competition for us. Our federation, all our players, we are like a big family,” said Captain Raúl Viver.

A “50/50” encounter, according to Couillard

Despite not winning in the Davis Cup since 2020, Ecuador arrive high on confidence and with a lengthy preparation period under their belts. The success of Monaco’s players this season means that they will be feeling positive, but perhaps with a little less preparation in the bank.

“It has been a season of two halves. Since April I have played a lot, not a lot of preparation. I have played a lot this summer, so I am arriving with a lot of confidence,” said Vacherot.

There is no wonder, therefore, why Guillaume Couillard has billed the tie as a “50/50” encounter.

“When we step on the court, it’s 50/50. Ecuador are a team with great players, with great experience, perhaps more than us,” said Monaco’s captain.

Monte-Carlo Masters finalist returns to Monegasque clay

In such a tight encounter, familiarity with the surroundings, as well as home-court advantage, could play a part. Arneodo in particular has felt the benefit of playing on Monaco clay, having reached the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters earlier this season.

“On clay, here in Monaco, especially, something always happens. I have always performed well here,” he told Monaco Life. 

However, it isn’t just the surface that plays into Monaco’s hands, home support can play a part, and prior to the match, which begins on Friday, Couillard made a call to arms.

“When we play at home, in front of our people, for our country, we’re galvanised. The public will be important and I hope they’ll come in numbers,” he said.

Monaco v Ecuador Davis Cup draw in full:


Valentin Vacherot v Álvaro Guillen

Lucas Catarina v Emilio Gómez


Romain Arneodo & Hugo Nys v Gonzalo Escobar & Diego Hidalgo

Valentin Vacherot v Emilio Gomez

Lucas Catarina v Álvaro Guillen


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Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life