‘Stefanos Tsitsipas destroyed me in Monte Carlo’

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Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas battled for a place in the ATP Finals semi-final in Turin. It was their 11th meeting on the Tour, and the Russian scored a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 42 minutes to beat the Greek for the fifth time.

Andrey and Stefanos have had some thrilling battles in the past four years, with many encounters heading to the distance. While feeling good about this victory, Rublev admitted he suffered a tough loss in the last year’s Monte Carlo final.

Tsitsipas defeated Rublev 6-3, 6-3 in 71 minutes for his first Masters 1000 crown at 22. Stefanos dropped ten points in nine service games, never facing a break point and mounting the pressure on Andrey. The Russian defeated Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud to reach the final, but he stood no chance against the Greek.

Tsitsipas landed 18 winners and 13 unforced errors, having the upper hand in every segment and moving over the top with three breaks on his tally. Stefanos grabbed the opening game with a service winner after deuce and secured a break in the next one following Rublev’s forehand mistake.

Settling into a fine rhythm, Tsitsipas brought the third game home with another unreturned serve before Rublev put his name on the scoreboard with a forehand winner a few minutes later.

Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo 2021.

World no.

5 fired three service winners in the fifth game to open a 4-1 gap and landed a backhand down the line winner at 4-2 to remain firmly in front. Rublev reduced the deficit with a hold at love in game eight to prolong the set , but it was too late to make an impact.

Tsitsipas secured the set with a service winner for 6-3 after 32 minutes and a boost. Returners took only seven points after that early break for Stefanos, which suggested a closer battle in set number two. Andrey held after deuce in the first game before Stefanos closed the second with a service winner.

Andrey lost four straight points from 40-15 in the third game and sprayed a backhand mistake to lose serve and move further away from the title. Tsitsipas confirmed the break with a service winner, and they both served well in the next four games to remain within the same distance.

Serving at 3-5, Andrey sent a backhand wide to hand a break and the victory to Stefanos, who started a massive celebration with his family. “We have had tough battles every time we played; I lost to him twice in three sets this year and beat him in three today. He destroyed me in the last year’s Monte Carlo final, but the other matches were even,” Andrey Rublev said.

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