Come April and the tennis action shifts to the clay courts of Europe. Starting from the Monte-Carlo Masters in April till the finals of the French Open in early June, the top men and women tennis players of the world will test their baseline game (and their patience!) against the demands of this slow and grinding surface. If the prospect of enjoying the European summer while watching some top-notch tennis was not compelling enough an argument for you, consider the sheer variety of venues where this phase of the tennis season will unfold. From Estoril and Madrid in the West, to Istanbul and Bucharest in the East, from the Mediterranean cities of Monte-Carlo and Rome to Cologne and Munich in the North, there is something for everyone. In a two part series, we will look at the major stops in this leg of the tour and why you should think about checking at least some of them out during the European clay court season.

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Dates: 9 April 2016 to 17 April 2016
Venue: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Event History: The Monte-Carlo Masters (officially known as the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters) was first held in 1897, making it amongst the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. Played on clay courts, in the scenic environs of Monte-Carlo, this annual ATP 1000 tournament attracts nearly all the top 50 players of the world.
Why You Should Attend: The event takes place every year in mid-April at the Monte Carlo Country Club, an intimate venue that provides striking views of mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. An opportunity to watch some exhilarating tennis in one of the most beautiful locales in the world make the Monte-Carlo Masters a must visit on every tennis enthusiast’s wish list!

For more information and to plan your trip, check our pages on the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and Monaco.

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
Dates: 16 April 2016 to 24 April 2016
Venue: Barcelona, Spain
Event History: The Barcelona Open, also known as the Trofeo Conde De Godo, is a major tennis tournament held in Barcelona. Currently sponsored by Banc Sabadell, this ATP 500 event has been held every year since 1953 at the Real Club de Tenis, Barcelona. The Real Club De Tenis is the most successful Spanish club with players like Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Moya and Albert Costa having been associated with it in the past.
Why You Should Attend: As a tourist destination, Barcelona offers you everything from perennially favorable weather conditions to a buzzing nightlife to its globally renowned cuisine and an incredible mix of art, history and culture. Let the Barcelona Open, which has become a symbol of Barcelona not only as a major annual sporting event but also as an important social event, be the one experience to top off your trip.

For more information and to plan your trip, check our pages on Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and Barcelona.

BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy
Dates: 16 April 2016 to 24 April 2016
Venue: Bucharest, Romania
Event History: Renamed in 2011 after Romania’s two greatest tennis personalities, Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac, the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy has been held in Bucharest since 1993. Previous winners of this ATP 250 event have included clay court stalwarts like Thomas Muster and David Ferrer.
Why You Should Attend: Enjoy the charms of Bucharest, the erstwhile “Paris of the East” with its stellar museums, parks and churches while you watch some glorious clay court tennis at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy.

For more information and to plan your trip, check our pages on BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy and Bucharest.

BMW Open by FWU AG
Dates: 23 April 2016 to 1 May 2016
Venue: Munich, Germany
Event History: The event traces its history back to 1900 when the International Tennis Championships of Bavaria was first held; the BMW Open by FWU AG however was first staged at Munich’s Iphitos Tennis Club in 1974. Since then, six German players have won the event including the indefatigable Tommy Haas in 2013. Other major players to have won the event in the past include legends like Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer.
Why You Should Attend: Munich, the picturesque capital of Bavaria is a delight to visit in the summer months. From Alpine clichés to its world-class museums and art galleries to an entire suburb of Olympic legacy, Munich has it all and more. Throw in some fascinating tennis battles and you have a mouthwatering mix of the perfect sports-travel vacation!

For more information and to plan your trip, check our pages on the BMW Open and Munich.

Millennium Estoril Open
Dates: 23 April 2016 to 1 May 2016
Venue: Estoril, Portugal
Event History: The Millennium Estoril Open is a new ATP 250 tournament that will be held for the first time in 2015. The event replaces the Portugal Open (formerly the Estoril Open) that had been part of the ATP and WTA calendars from 1990 and 1989 onwards respectively. Prominent men’s winners have included Thomas Muster, Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Why You Should Attend: The scenic city of Estoril is a popular tourist destination with everything from beaches to historical landmarks and museums. Sports fans can also visit the Estoril Circuit, the site for the Portugal Grand Prix which is held in September. Visit Estoril this April and enjoy the Mediterranean climes with some superlative clay court tennis.

For more information and to plan your trip, check our pages on the Estoril Open and Estoril.

TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open
Dates: 25 April 2016 to 1 May 2016
Venue: Istanbul, Turkey
Event History: The TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open will be the first ever ATP World Tour event in Turkey. This ATP 250 tournament will be held at the grand Koza World of Sports facility, arguably the largest tennis academy in the world. With it centre court that features a retractable roof and can seat 7,500 fans along with two other show courts the Istanbul Open has a capacity of nearly 9,500 people.
Why You Should Attend: The meeting point of East and West, Istanbul is one of the most extraordinary cities in the world. Rich with history and culture, with a vibrant nightlife and a thriving dining scene Istanbul has something for everyone. With Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov (we won’t call him Baby Fed!) committed to playing in the inaugural edition of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, you can rest assured that your Istanbul trip in April will be a very satisfying affair!

For more information and to plan your trip, check our pages on the Istanbul Open and Istanbul.

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One thought on “The European Clay Court Season: Part I

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