Few venues in tennis are more revered than the peaceful, glitzy vista of the Monte Carlo ATP Masters 1000. There the combatants duel on red-clay courts with competitive spirit and all varieties of emotion. The players’ reactions are unscripted, but their faces tell the story.
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic found his enthusiasm for playing doubles with Viktor Troicki. They did their best impersonation of the Bryan brothers with a leaping chest bump.
Never mind that they lost the match.
Kyle Edmund tried to get a grip on himself while receiving a first-set bagel courtesy of Rafael Nadal.
Meanwhile, No. 1-seeded Andy Murray wore the agony of losing his serve on the first game of his match against Gilles Muller. It looked like a long day ahead.
By the end of that first set, it was Muller who was either testing the strength of his racket frame or assiduously trying to knock the red clay out of his shoes. You be the judge.
Grigor Dimitrov never could get warmed up in a loss to qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff on an unusually cooler day in Monaco.
The usually stoic Nadal showed his irritation with a neck roll when Edmund came back to even things up in the third set.
Of course there was still plenty of time for a big fist pump, “Vamos” and the obligatory win for the King of Clay. He has since breezed into the quarterfinals with a win over newly-turned 20-year-old Alexander Zverev.
The third round wasn't any less dramatic, with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka falling to an on-fire Pablo Cuevas.
And Murray succumbing to a relentless Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
All too human? Tennis is as genuine as it gets.