WATCH: Fabio Fognini speaks with Tennis Channel following his 2022 Monte Carlo first-round match.


Monte Carlo is always the place to be in mid-April, when the picturesque ATP Masters 1000 marks the beginning of the European clay court swing. Paris Saint-Germain stars Neymar Jr. and Marco Verratti were some of the celebrities who flocked to the Principality on Monday looking to take in some world-class tennis.

Fresh off a weekend hat-trick that solidified PSG’s position at the top of the Ligue 1 table, Neymar joined teammate Verratti at the Monte Carlo Country Club for some downtime. They nabbed a front-row view of Fabio Fognini's three-set victory over Arthur Rinderknech on Court Rainier III, joined by DJ Martin Garrix and Victoria's Secret model Izabel Goulart.

But this year in Monte Carlo things are a little different as all eyes, and viewfinders, are on Novak Djokovic as he prepares for his return to action. Neymar and Verratti got the chance to hang out with the world No. 1 as they toured the behind-the-scenes player areas—and Djokovic was quick to put their foot skills to the test as he challenged them to a game of keepy uppy.

To no one’s surprise, Neymar came away with the win in that contest, despite the giant tennis ball they used in place of a football. But it was all in good fun, and the trio snapped some group photos afterward.


Neymar and Verratti weren't the only ones hoping to catch a glimpse of Djokovic—there just haven’t been that many chances to see him in action. The 2015 champion is playing just his second tournament of the year, as his decision to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 continues to rule him out of traveling to many countries or participating in a number of tournaments.

With fans and celebrities back in the stands and photographers out in full force in Monte Carlo, Djokovic will start against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Tuesday. It will be his fourth match of the year.