World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal will headline the field at the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters, along with World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and World No. 4 Dominic Thiem. But 20-time Major champion Roger Federer is not on the entry list released by the ATP, making him the only player from the top 10 missing.
The Monte Carlo Masters is scheduled to take place from 10 April to 18 April, behind closed doors. This year will mark the 114th edition of the tournament, after the 2020 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Monte Carlo Masters is the first big event of the clay-court season in Europe. The draw for the 2021 edition will take place on 9 April, in the presence of 2019 champion Fabio Fognini.
Besides Federer, Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic are the other top 20 players missing from the entry list. There is still a possibility, however, that any of the three players could request for a last-minute wildcard before the start of the tournament.
Rafael Nadal has won 11 of the last 15 editions of the Monte Carlo Masters
Rafael Nadal has completely dominated the Monte Carlo Masters since winning the tournament for the first time in 2005. The Spaniard won the event eight years in a row until his reign was interrupted by Novak Djokovic in the 2013 final.
After Stan Wawrinka won in 2014, and Novak Djokovic claimed his second Monte Carlo title in 2015, Rafael Nadal went on to add three more titles from 2016 to 2018.
Rafael Nadal has been hampered by a back injury since the beginning of the season, having pulled out of the ATP Cup in early February. He then reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set battle.
Following that, Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Rotterdam event earlier this month. He is also skipping this week's Miami Masters.
Another player skipping the Miami Masters is Novak Djokovic, but the World No. 1 seems intent on playing a full clay schedule this year. Djokovic is also entered for the Serbia Open in his hometown, which will take place right after Monte Carlo.
Roger Federer's absence from the entry list does not come as a surprise given that the Swiss pulled out of Dubai after reaching the Doha quarterfinals. Federer claimed he needed a few more weeks of training before playing his next event.
The 39-year-old has declared that he aims to be in top physical shape in time for Wimbledon. That said, the Swiss had mentioned he would look to play a little on clay for match practice, prompting some to wonder whether he would opt to play in Monte Carlo.
The release of the entry list has now put paid to those speculations, and now it seems likely that Roger Federer will return to the tour at the Madrid Masters.