While some of the men of the ATP began their clay-court seasons early this week in Houston, the top stars of the tour will be hitting the clay for the first time in 2018 in Monte Carlo.
The King of Clay and a ten-time champion in Monaco, Rafael Nadal got his first hit in on the red clay of Court Rainier III.
The world number one was joined by Argentina’s Pablo Cuevas for practice.
As defending champion in Monte Carlo, the Spaniard was on hand for the draw ceremony.
@RafaelNadal will begin his bid for an 11th Rolex Monte-Carlo crown against Aljaz Bedene or a qualifier. Full draw ➡ rafaelnadalfans.com ???????? Vamos Rafa! ???????? #Repost @casinosmontecarlo ・・・ We are so lucky to welcome @rafaelnadal on Friday April 13th ☘️ #luckyday #rafaelnadal #rafanadal #nadal #atpworldtour #atp #kingofclay #vamosrafa #tennis #montecarlomasters
Nadal was not handed an easy draw, with fifth seed Dominic Thiem and two-time champion Novak Djokovic both in his quarter.
It wasn’t just the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters top seed getting his first practice in. Another clay-court stalwart Thiem was hard at work on the practice courts, returning from an ankle injury in Indian Wells.
Karen Khachanov and Monaco resident Milos Raonic were on the practice courts.
So were ATP NextGen stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
2015 finalist Tomas Berdych had his first hit on the clay at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
Main draw action on the red clay of Monte Carlo begins Sunday with the majority of first round matches kicking off Monday.
This Week on Tennis Channel Plus:
ATP Monte Carlo (4/15-4/22)
-Tennis Channel Plus has multi-court coverage of the 2018 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters beginning Sunday April 16 at 7:00 AM ET, first to last ball!
WTA Dothan (4/17-4/22)
-Don’t miss the Hardee’s Pro Classic featuring Taylor Townsend and Madison Brengle live on Tennis Channel Plus beginning April 17 at 11:00 AM ET
Fed Cup (4/21-4/22)
-Tennis Channel Plus is your home for Fed Cup action! Watch live ties between USA vs. France and Germany vs. Czech Republic beginning at 6:00 AM ET on Saturday April 21
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