Tsitsipas routs Rublev in final to clinch Monte Carlo Masters crown
Stefanos Tsitsipas crushed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday in a one-sided final in the Monte Carlo Open for his first Masters 1000 title.
The Greek 22-year-old world No. 5 took one hour and 11 minutes to beat the Russian, ranked eighth, for the best victory in his career, ater his triumph in the year-end Masters in 2019.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotion,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s the best win of my life so far.”
“It is the best thing winning my first Masters 1000 and it is even more special doing it here on home soil in Monte-carlo and doing it on clay, which is my favourite surface.”
“I knew that he was going to be a very difficult opponent to face. There were a lot of nerves coming into that match,” he added, noting that he and Rublev were old foes who “always want to bring the best out of each other.”
The Greek’s victory in their seventh meeting gave him a 4-3 advantage in their head-to-head meetings.
“I’m proud of the way I handled myself on the court,” he added.
Tsitsipas now has six titles on the ATP Tour, including the year-end Masters in 2019 and four ATP 250 tournaments (Stockholm 2018, Marseille and Estoril 2019, Marseille 2020).
By the time the 23-year-old Rublev got going in the first set, the damage was done. Tsitsipas calmly held his service games to win the first set in 32 minutes. The second followed the same patern as Tsitsipas broke serve in the third game. He broke again to end the match.
Rublev, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 final ater eliminating Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, did not have a break point in the match.
FEDERER CONFIRMS TO PLAY IN FRENCH OPEN: Roger Federer confirmed on Sunday he will play the French Open at Roland Garros this year having skipped the 2020 edition to recover from knee surgery.
“Hi everyone! Happy to let you know that I will play Geneva and Paris. Until then I will use the time to train. Can’t wait to play in Switzerland again,” the 39-year-old said on Twiter.
Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, captured Roland Garros for the only time in 2009.
His last appearance in the French capital in 2019 ended in a semi-final loss to Rafael Nadal, now a 13-time champion.
Should Nadal triumph again in June, he will win a record-seting 21st major.
Federer, who will turn 40 in August, has played just one tournament in 2021, winning one match in Qatar in March on his return from 13 months on the sidelines ater undergoing two bouts of knee surgeries.
He had been intending to return to action on clay in Madrid from May 2 but will now have his only pre-paris warm-up in Geneva from May 16.
Roland Garros will start on May 30, a week later than originally scheduled.
Federer, with 103 career titles to his name, has not won a tour clay title since Istanbul in 2015.
For the great Swiss, his two major objectives in 2021 are an assault on a ninth Wimbledon crown and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympics.
His brief excursion into the clay season is a means of helping to build match sharpness before Wimbledon.
“I’ll just see how much workload the body and the knee still take and what’s the best way to prepare all the way for basically the beginning of the season for me, which is the grass court season,” Federer said in Doha.
JABEUR FACES SHARMA IN FINAL: Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur pummelled Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-0 on on Saturday to book a title showdown in the WTA 250 tournament in Charleston against Australia’s Astra Sharma.
Jabeur avenged a straight-sets loss to Kovinic in the semi-finals of last week’s tournament on the same green clay courts in Charleston, shaking off some apparent queasiness late in the first set.
She needed 10 set points to pocket the frame, finally converting with a backhand winner.
“She didn’t give me any free points,” Jabeur said. “It was a tough game for both. I’m glad I responded well for the next game.”
Kovinic, who fell to Veronika Kudermetova in last week’s final, was down two breaks when she dug in again late in the second set, saving four match points before Jabeur flicked a winner past her.