What's the chances of going to Europe in the same year that the great Bjorn Borg decides to come out of retirement and start playing again ? What's the chances of visiting Monte Carlo at the same time that the Monaco Grand Prix was on ? Monte Carlo in 1991 was quite possibly the greatest experience in my life as this was the place i wanted to visit more than anywhere else due largely to Bjorn Borg. When i was a kid i read the book on Borg and how he spent many years as a resident of Monte Carlo due to the taxation breaks that the country gave sports stars earning millions. So i was curious , to say the least.
Brett , Pete and i watched Borg lose his come back match in Monte Carlo from a Sports club in the French city of Bordeaux , a wine growing region in France, we were all shattered, he was our hero. I told them that i was going to spend some time on the French Riviera and Monte Carlo was my main destination. Pete and i had just won a doubles tournament in the French town of Garoult which Pete beat Brett in the final of the singles also, but i was strangely more interested in seeing some history of the country.
My first impression of the Monte Carlo Country Club was one of awe , it is a Tennis Club that beats all other tennis clubs that i have ever seen and the back drop is nothing short of perfection , the Mediterranean Ocean, a post card . I took a photo that i still have in a frame on my wall that i will treasure forever, a photo that typifies the sort of place that Monte Carlo is , rich , beautiful and non replicated, tennis courts in the foreground and the blue waters behind.
I would love to have had a hit on the courts at Monte Carlo however my two travelling buddies weren't with me and my French was not fluent so i was more than happy to simply take in the beauty of the place. If you look at the past winners of the tournament it has all my hero's on the winner's board , Borg , Wilander , even Joakim Nystrom , another Swedish player who i admired for his shot making and temperament.
Of all the places i have ever visited i would put The Monte Carlo Country Club at the top of the list , a place of remarkable beauty and tranquility and a place that i believe is still the bench mark of World Tennis back drops.
The Monaco Grand Prix was simply a bonus and i spent an afternoon watching the race from a vantage point in a cafe overlooking the harbor that is possibly the richest playground to cruise liners and yachts that you could ever imagine.
This game of tennis never earned me any money , not life changing anyhow , but it gave me some memories that i will never forget and that have given me the outlook i now have on the game.
It's a game that can take you anywhere in the World , no matter what standard you play and it's a game that can give you some life long memories , i am one of those lucky ones.......