Tennis: Which tennis players live in Monaco?

Novak Djokovic at the MCCC ahead of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

The Monte-Carlo Masters gets underway in a matter of days, and many of the players don’t need to travel far to compete, with a significant number of tennis’ elite based right here in the Principality of Monaco.

Monaco is a magnet for sportspeople. Much of the 2023 Formula One grid is based in the Principality, whilst many cyclists such as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Peter Sagan and Tadej Pogacar utilise the region’s undulating and meandering topography to prepare for the season.

With the Monte-Carlo Masters set to get underway on 8th April, many of the participants won’t be travelling far. Novak Djokovic, for example, has been practising on the clay courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club, whilst Alexander Zverev has been spotted sampling some of the other sports that the Principality has to offer, witnessing AS Monaco Basketball’s victory against Gravelines-Dunkerque over the weekend.

Why do tennis players live in Monaco?

The facilities at the Monte-Carlo Country Club (MCCC), the home of the Monte-Carlo Masters, are a draw for the game’s elite. The club, located outside of the borders of the Principality in Roquebrune Cap-Martin, has 21 clay courts, two covered courts, two hard courts and 15 lighted courts. Half of the Grand Slam events, the Australian Open and the US Open are played on hard courts, whilst the French Open, one of the other two Grand Slams, is played on clay. The MCCC, as well as being one of the most glamorous events on the ATP Masters 1000 circuit, is therefore also one of the most practical for players on the circuit.

Photo by Monaco Life / Luke Entwistle

The climate is also a draw. Grigor Dimitrov, the former ATP world number three, said “We couldn’t be more blessed to train in such conditions.” The temperate Côte d’Azur has mild, sunny and relatively short winters, creating optimal training conditions for the professionals.

There is also an element of following the herd. “Every morning, you come on the court and there are four top players practising. It’s great to see and I think that also motivates us to do better,” said Dimitrov.

“It’s the ideal place to be! There are so many great players around,” added Stefanos Tsitsipas, the winner of the last two editions of the Monte-Carlo Masters. Half of the Grand Slams also take place in Europe, in London, England and Paris, France, making the Principality of Monaco an ideal base throughout the year.

However, arguably the biggest reason is financial. Monaco is a tax haven, meaning that residents don’t have to pay personal income taxes. In tennis, players are taxed depending on the country in which they are competing. For example, a foreigner competing in the US Open will be charged a flat 30% rate on their earnings from that tournament. Those same earnings could then be taxed in their home country, so in order to avoid double taxation, many players base themselves in Monaco.

Photo of the MCCC by Monaco Life / Luke Entwistle

Some, however, such as Rafael Nadal, who lives in his native Mallorca, haven’t made such a move, despite the financial implications. “If I lived in another part of the world, I would have earned double, but in Mallorca, I have my friends and family. So I would have twice the money, but be half as happy,” said the Spaniard.

Djokovic, who is tied with Nadal on 22 Grand Slam victories, made a different choice, and he isn’t the only one. Monaco Life takes you through some of tennis’ most recognisable stars residing in the Principality.

Novak Djokovic

The Serbian made the move when he was a teenager. At the time, he cited the “relaxed” nature of Principality life as a factor behind his move from Belgrade. He now calls Monaco home, and he is an ambassador for the Princess Charlene Foundation. Djokovic heads into the Monte-Carlo Masters as the top seed, and will be looking to better last year’s performance, where he got knocked out in the first round.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek player is well known to tennis fans around Monaco. Tsitsipas has won the previous two editions of the Monte-Carlo Masters and will be looking to make it three in a row later this month. The current world number three has made two Grand Slam finals but has lost both at the hands of Djokovic, the most recent defeat coming at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Daniil Medvedev

Russian tennis player Medvedev was once world number one but is now ranked fourth. He has one Grand Slam to his name, the US Open in 2021. Speaking in 2019, Medvedev, who traded Moscow for Monaco, said he found the move difficult initially due to a form of culture shock. However, Medvedev is a French speaker and is now well-integrated into the region. He has previously cited sporting reasons for the move, admitting that it is difficult to train in Moscow.

Caroline Wozniacki

Now retired, Wozniacki was ranked number one in the world for a total of 71 weeks and won the Australian Open in 2018. The Dane retired back in 2020 and is now an ESPN presenter. She is now a neighbour to Tsitsipas following the Greek player’s change of apartments back in November.

Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka is another familiar name with tennis fans in Monaco. The Swiss former world number three won the tournament back in 2014. He also has three Grand Slams to his name, having won the Australian Open back in 2014, the French Open in 2015, and the US Open in 2016. Wawrinka has been dogged by injury in recent years but has been attributed a wildcard for this year’s Monte-Carlo Masters.

David Goffin

David Goffin, a Belgian player, who reached a career-high ATP ranking of 7th back in 2017, has been living in Monaco since 2015. His move to the Principality was criticised at the time and ultimately divulged the reasons behind living in Monaco.

“It’s a great atmosphere for sports people. In Liège, there is a warmth that I miss a bit, but in Belgium, it became too difficult for me to train there because I couldn’t make a step without being solicited, and so I couldn’t be at ease. I won’t even speak about the weather. Here, at the end of December, I’m training every day outside basically in a T-shirt,” said Goffin.

Petra Kvitova

Kvitova, a Czech player, has won two Grand Slams during her career so far, both of which have come at Wimbledon. Her move to Monaco created a political storm in Czechia and she was notably criticised by Czech Social Democrat MP Stanislav Huml back in 2014.

“I think we should have a long and hard think about the fact that if someone leaves the Czech Republic to become a member of another state, they should lose their Czech citizenship. Because I don’t know that the few percent less in taxes that she stands to pay in a country like Monaco deflects from the fact that perhaps the Cezch Republic actually helped her achieve some of her success,” he said.

Grigor Dimitrov

Dimitrov reached a career-high of third in the world ranking back in 2017, and he remains in the top 30. The Bulgarian player reached the semi-finals of last year’s Monte-Carlo Masters and will be hoping to go deep into this year’s edition of the tournament.

Milos Raonic

Canadian player Raonic hasn’t played a competitive match since the summer of 2021, but his coach said in December that Raonic hadn’t retired and that he was working himself back to fitness. Raonic, who moved to Monaco in 2012, has previously been a world number three and reached the Wimbledon final back in 2016. As well as training at the MCCC, he, like other professionals, also spends time working at the Stade Louis II, the home of AS Monaco.

Alexander Zverev

Zverev, currently ranked 16th in the world, and formerly the world number two, recently attended an AS Monaco basketball fixture. The German reportedly moved in 2017 and cited “better training conditions” as motivation.

Whilst the number of elite tennis players in the Principality will multiply over the next fortnight, plenty are here year-round.

Watch Novak Djokovic preparing for the Monte-Carlo Masters at the MCCC recently in our Instagram video below…



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Photo by Monaco Life / Luke Entwistle