The Monte-Carlo Country Club: a Shrine to Tennis
On 27 February 1928, the Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s third son, threw the first tennis ball from the top of the grandstand of honour. Standing by his side at the inauguration of the Monte-Carlo Country Club were Prince Louis II of Monaco, King Gustav V of Sweden, Prince Nicolas of Greece, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Russia and the Prince of Montenegro. To understand the reasons for so much pomp and ceremony, it’s important to go back in time a few years.
In the 1920s, Suzanne Lenglen was the best tennis player in the world, completely dominating the sport; in 7 years of competition, she had only lost 4 sets! The Société des Bains de Mer and more generally, the Principality of Monaco, decided to build a tennis club on a par with the star’s reputation.
For 6 months, 1,500 labourers worked day and night to turn a steep and narrow piece of land covered with rocks and olive trees into what is, by all accounts, one of the world’s most fabulous tennis clubs.
Twenty courts were built overlooking the Mediterranean alongside buildings constructed in the Art Deco architectural style. The particularly telegenic Centre Court hosts the annual Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.