Davidovich Fokina Jumps Into Top 50, Mover Of Week

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has risen to a career-high No. 48 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

ATPTour.com looks at the top Movers of the Week in the FedEx ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 19 April 2021

No. 48 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, +10 (Career High)
The Spaniard has broken into the Top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time, rising to a career-high No. 48 after he reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Tsitsipas). The 21-year-old beat Alex de Minaur, recorded his first Top 10 win over No. 10-ranked Matteo Berrettini and then overcame Lucas Pouille, who rose 14 places today.

View Latest FedEx ATP Rankings

No. 19 Jannik Sinner, +3 (Career High)
#NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner has risen to a career-high No. 19 and is the second youngest player in the Top 100, after fellow 19-year-old and compatriot Lorenzo Musetti (No. 87). Sinner captured his second ATP Tour trophy at the Great Ocean Road Open (d. Travaglia) in February and earlier this month advanced to his first Masters 1000 final at the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Hurkacz).

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Sinner Breaks Into Top 20 For First Time

No. 26 Daniel Evans, +7 (Joint Career High)
The Briton came into the second Masters 1000 tournament of the year on the back of a 10-match losing streak on clay, but he changed his mindset with victories over Dusan Lajovic, Hubert Hurkacz, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and David Goffin en route to the Monte-Carlo semi-finals. The 30-year-old, who captured his first ATP Tour title in February at the Murray River Open (d. Auger-Aliassime), fell to Tsitsipas in the Principality, but rises seven spots to his joint career high of No. 26, which he first attained on 8 February 2021.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 7 Andrey Rublev, +1 (Career High)
No. 12 David Goffin, +3
No. 33 Filip Krajinovic, +4 (Career High)
No. 59 Jordan Thompson, +4
No. 72 Lucas Pouille, +14
No. 79 Alexei Popyrin, +4 (Career High)
No. 81 Salvatore Caruso, +8
No. 91 Roberto Carballes Baena, +14

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Rublev: ‘He Was Just Better Than Me’

After a memorable week at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev gave a simple review of his 6-3, 6-3 loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship match.

“He was just better than me,” said Rublev.

The World No. 8 entered his maiden ATP Masters 1000 final in peak form, having claimed three-set wins against ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal earlier in the week. Despite his best efforts, Rublev was simply unable to bring his best level to the court in the championship match as Tsitsipas dominated on serve and converted all three of his break points.

“I feel happy with the week, and I feel super sad with the final, that I couldn’t show the game [I have]. I couldn’t show fight,” said Rublev. “I didn’t win, but of course I’m happy with the week because I beat so many great players. I beat one of the best players in history. It’s a special week.”

Rublev and Tsitsipas’ battle was their fourth meeting since the resumption of the ATP Tour last August (2-2). The pair has already contested seven ATP Head2Head battles (Tsitsipas leads 4-3) and they also met on multiple occasions at junior level.

With Rublev, 23, and Tsitsipas, 22, both still in the early stages of their careers, the Monte-Carlo finalists are well aware that this could be the start of an epic rivalry. The pair has already met in two ATP Tour finals, two Grand Slams, the Nitto ATP Finals and the Next Gen ATP Finals.

“He’s the one from the top players that I [have been] playing the most,” said Rublev. “We played already [a] couple of finals, [and a] couple of important matches… I have more stories of matches [against] him compared [to] other players. I hope it’s the beginning of something. I hope I will also be able to win some of them.”

Rublev will now turn his attention to the remainder of the European clay swing. After one event on the red dirt this season, he has already reached a significant milestone with his first Masters 1000 final appearance. The eight-time ATP Tour titlist will now turn his attention to next week’s Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, where he compete as the third seed.

“It’s my first tournament on clay and I already [reached a] final, my first final [at a] Masters 1000,” said Rublev. “It’s a great beginning. I hope I can show great game every week.”

The Family Connection That Pushed Tsitsipas To Monte-Carlo Glory

Stefanos Tsitsipas was born into a family with a great sporting heritage. His grandfather, Sergei Salnikov, was a gold medallist in football at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, but it was another sporting family member who acted as the inspiration for one of his greatest triumphs on the ATP Tour.

This week, Tsitsipas had the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his mother and former tennis professional, Julia Salnikova. It was an opportunity he grabbed with both hands.

Thirty years after Salnikova claimed a junior title at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in 1981, Tsitsipas joined his mother on the Monte-Carlo honour roll with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph against Andrey Rublev on Sunday.

“[To share] this is incredible. [The] first time I walked in that club, the Monte-Carlo Country Cub, with my mom, I think that was when I was six years old. She showed me her name up there. I remember seeing it for the first time. I was stunned. I was like, ‘Wow. That is really cool.’ How cool is that?”

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Tsitsipas Wins Maiden Masters 1000 Crown In Monte-Carlo

Tsitsipas didn’t give his opportunity to add to his family’s Monte-Carlo success story much thought until it came within touching distance this weekend. From the semi-finals, the Greek dropped just nine games across four sets to charge past Daniel Evans and Rublev and add his name to the Monte-Carlo history books.

“I didn’t think about it in the beginning of the tournament, but it came to my mind when I was playing the semi-finals,” said Tsitsipas. “I was thinking that [it] would be really cool to be in this together, like mother like son. That’s where the whole purpose came from. I feel like there was an enormous amount of willingness to want to do more in order to be there with my mom.”

“[There are] two people I would like to dedicate this [title to]. My coach back in Greece, who I mentioned [in the trophy ceremony], and also my mom, because she pushed me to aim for that.”

Despite the pressure of family connections and the opportunity to win his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown, Tsitsipas was able to maintain his focus and become only the third active player to win his first Masters 1000 title without dropping a set (also Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov). The World No. 5 was dominant on serve in the championship match against Rublev, but Tsitsipas highlighted another interesting key to his victory in his post-match press conference.

“Breathing is something I’ve been working on [in] the past couple of months with my psychologist,” said Tsitsipas. “I find breathing very important, especially when I’m performing or playing. Breathing helps me control myself and have full control of what I’m doing out there.

“It is definitely something that I’ve been putting a lot of work [into] in the past couple of weeks with him. Actually, this week more than the other weeks, doing it daily after every single match that I played… When you breathe well, I feel like your game is capable of reaching the top.”

Tsitsipas’ final win earned him a 4-3 ATP Head2Head advantage against Rublev in one of the most exciting young rivalries on the ATP Tour. Tsitsipas had lost his previous match against Rublev in last month’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-finals in Rotterdam, but his victory in the Principality marked his second consecutive win against the Russian on clay. Tsitsipas also defeated Rublev in straight sets in last year’s Roland Garros quarter-finals.

“The rivalry that I had shared with Andrey is quite significant. We grew up playing together in juniors… We have developed together,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s nice that we’re able to be in the same environment now on the ATP Tour together after so many years… It’s been a long journey to be here, to be able to play against each other in a big final like this. I’m pretty sure we’re going to play each other many more times. I tell you it won’t be easy. It only gets more difficult and more painful.”

Earlier this month at the Miami Open presented by Itau, Tsitsipas held points for a 6-2, 3-0 lead against eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz. After that encounter, Tsitsipas described how he had missed an opportunity to ‘show something greater’. When he earned another opportunity in the Principality this week, he made sure he took his chance.

“I didn’t see [a] reason for me to leave from here without the trophy. I felt like I deserved it,” said Tsitsipas. “I’ve put so much effort and so much concentration into it. [It is] definitely something that I deserve.

“More opportunities like this [are] going to show up and come up in the future, so I need to be ready to show my consistency.”

Tsitsipas Wins Maiden Masters 1000 Crown In Monte-Carlo

Third time proved to be the charm for Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Sunday when he collected his first ATP Masters 1000 title with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Andrey Rublev.

Appearing in his third final at the level, Tsitsipas dropped just four points behind his first serve (24/28) to capture the second biggest title of his career after 71 minutes. As a result of his final win, the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion will climb to first position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on Monday. The six-time ATP Tour titlist did not drop a set throughout his week at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

“I had an unbelievable week in Monte-Carlo,” Tsitsipas said in his post-match interview. “I can’t describe my feelings right now. I am overwhelmed by so many different emotions and nostalgia. It is incredible that I am able to be in the position that I am. We both deserved to be in the final. We put on an amazing fight and an amazing show… I would consider it as the [best] week of my life so far.”


– Graphic courtesy Hawk-Eye Innovations/ATP Media

Tsitsipas claimed early breaks in each set and dominated on serve to narrow the gap on Rublev at the top of the 2021 wins leaderboard. The Monte-Carlo finalists currently occupy the top two positions on the list and are the only players to have claimed 20 or more victories this season.

2021 Match Wins Leaderboard


– Graphic courtesy Hawk-Eye Innovations/ATP Media
– Take a deep dive into this match with Match Insights powered by Infosys NIA

Tsitsipas has taken a 4-3 lead in his fiercely contested ATP Head2Head rivalry with Rublev. The 23-year-old gained revenge for his semi-final loss to the Russian at last month’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Tsitsipas has won his past two clay-court encounters against Rublev, following his straight-sets quarter-final win at Roland Garros last year.

“I knew that he was going to be a very difficult opponent to face. There were a lot of nerves coming into that match. [We] always want to bring the best out of [ourselves] when facing each other. Playing Andrey was a very difficult thing to do today, also considering that it was a final. There is extra stress and extra importance in the match that we had to play. [I am] definitely proud of the way I managed to behave and be out on the court today.

“The clay court season couldn’t have started better,” Tsitsipas said. “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.”

Tsitsipas made a fast start on Court Rainier III. The Athens native pinned Rublev into his backhand corner to earn his first break point of the match at 1-0 and switched tactics with a backhand up the line to claim the only break of the set. Tsitsipas dropped just two points across his next four service games (16/18) to move one set from victory.

Tsitsipas showcased a mix of power and precision on his backhand and found consistent depth on his forehand return to break for the second time at 1-1 in the second set. The World No. 5 continued his fine serving performance to reach match point, when he broke Rublev for the third time. Tsitsipas sunk to his knees in celebration after Rublev fired a cross-court backhand into the tramline.

Rublev was also chasing his first Masters 1000 trophy and the top spot in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. The World No. 8 defeated Top 10 seeds Roberto Bautista Agut and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in back-to-back three-set matches en route to his first Masters 1000 final.

Did You Know?
Tsitsipas is not the first member of his family to triumph at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. His mother, Julia Salnikova, won a junior title at the venue in 1981.

Mektic/Pavic Clinch Monte-Carlo Crown; Fifth Doubles Title Of Year

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic captured their fifth ATP Tour team title from six finals on Sunday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The second-seeded Croatians won a repeat of the Miami Open presented by Itau final, beating Britons Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski 6-3, 4-6, 10-7 in one hour and 36 minutes.

Mektic and Pavic improved to a 29-3 match record on the season, which includes trophies at the Antalya Open (d. Dodig/Polasek), Murray River Open in Melbourne (d. Chardy/Martin), ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Krawietz/Tecau) and Miami.

“It’s incredible, we’re so, so happy, especially because the final was so intense,” said Mektic, who also lifted the 2019 Monte-Carlo crown with Franko Skugor. “It was 10/7 for us, but it could have gone either way. It’s a wonderful place. It was special to win here with another fellow Croatian [in 2019] the first time around, and this is equally as special.”

Pavic said, “[Daniel and Neal] are very tough. They won a lot of matches. Neal won Acapulco before Miami too. I would like to see them playing more together, because they are a good team, but it’s up to Dan and his singles.

“We have played more than 30 matches and we’ve been playing great. We’re on a run. It was our first clay tournament together and the matches we’ve played before this week gave us confidence. It was good to get the Match Tie-break win yesterday [against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos] too.”

Pavic, Mektic

Mektic and Pavic got off to the best possible start by winning the first three games. But the British pair clawed their way back, with Evans hitting a smash winner to break Pavic’s serve at 2-3. Pavic took his chance on return of serve in the eighth game, striking a backhand winner past Evans and closed out the 31-minute opener to love in the next game.

After an early exchange of breaks early in the second set, Evans did well to recover from 15/40 for a 3-2 advantage. The Britons went on to seal the second set when Pavic struck a backhand slice approach shot long.

The Match Tie-break appeared to turn in favour of Evans and Skupski, when Pavic struck back-to-back double faults from 5-4. But at 5/6, Mektic hit a backhand return winner down the line. Mektic later hit a reaction volley off a powerful Evans forehand that looped over Skupski’s head on championship point. Mektic and Pavic clinched the Miami title earlier this month with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Evans and Skupski.

“Well done again, another great week,” said Evans. “We can’t get you yet, but we’ll keep trying.” Skupski said: “Congratulations again, it seems to be going well for you this year.”

This week, Evans beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the singles third round and went on to reach the semi-finals at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. Skupski won the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC with his older brother, Ken Skupski, last month.

Final Preview: Tsitsipas To Face Rublev For Maiden Masters 1000 Glory

For the second straight ATP Masters 1000 event, a new champion will be lifting his first trophy at this level as Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Andrey Rublev for the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title.

There will be more than just Monte-Carlo glory on the line for Tsitsipas and Rublev. The winner will head the FedEx ATP Race To Turin leaderboard for a place at the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday. Rublev has already overtaken current leader Novak Djokovic with his performance this week, though Tsitsipas could still rise to the top spot with a victory in the clay-court final. 

After letting a big chance slip away at the Miami Open presented by Itau, the first ATP Masters 1000 event without Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in 17 years, both players arrived in the Principality eager for redemption. Tsitsipas and Rublev made strong showings in Miami, but were beaten by eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.

Sixth seed Rublev revealed that the key to bouncing back and reaching his first Masters 1000 final this week has been to keep a tight lid on his emotions – a lesson he learned the hard way in South Florida.

“That’s why I lost [in Miami], because of my emotions,” Rublev said after his semi-final victory. “In the end if you want to learn, you will improve this. I hope I want to learn and I want to improve. That’s why I’m doing better. Of course, it’s not easy. [In] some matches [there] will still be up and downs.”

RUSSIAN ATP MASTERS 1000 SINGLES TITLISTS

Player Titles Tournaments
Marat Safin 5 2000 Toronto; 2000, ’02, ’04 Paris; 2004 Madrid
Daniil Medvedev 3 2019 Cincinnati, 2019 Shanghai, 2020 Paris
Nikolay Davydenko 3 2006 Paris, 2008 Miami, 2009 Shanghai
Andrei Chesnokov 2 1990 Monte-Carlo, 1991 Montreal
Karen Khachanov 1 2018 Paris

The Russian claimed his first victory over Nadal (1-2) on the Spaniard’s favourite surface and after weathering a second-set comeback to triumph 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. It felt like a coming-of-age moment for the 23-year-old, who has an ATP Tour-best 24-4 match record in 2021. The tennis world seemed to be waiting for Rublev to find a way to translate his electrifying performances at ATP 500-level to the big stages at Masters 1000 events, and he did so against arguably the toughest opponent possible with a defeat of the 11-time former champion.

But he passed another big test in the next round, staying calm in order to back up the win against unseeded Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-5 and reach the championship match.

“This week looks like I’m really controlling my emotions [very well]. That’s why I’m doing well,” Rublev explained. “That’s why I won the match with Robert when I was losing. That’s why I won the match against Rafa when he came back in [the] second set. Even today [in] the second set, I come back because I didn’t go crazy. I just keep focused. I keep staying in the match. It turned around.” 

2021 Monte-Carlo Tsitsipas Rublev
Aces 10 16
1st Serve Percentage 57% (110 of 192) 58% (188 of 323)
1st-Serve Points Won 75% (82 0f 110) 70% (131 of 188)
2nd-Serve Points Won 65% (53 of 82) 46% (62 of 135)
Service Games Won 91% (31 of 34) 74% (37 of 50)
Break Points Saved 57% (4 of 7) 54% (15 of 28)
1st Serve Return Points Won 39% (52 of 132) 42% (78 of 187)
2nd-Serve Return Points Won 58% (53 of 91) 56% (63 of 112)
Return Games Won 39% (12 of 31) 45% (21 of 47)
Break Points Converted 52% (12 of 23) 57% (21 of 37)

Rublev will take on two-time Masters 1000 finalist Tsitsipas for the second time in 2021 when they hit Court Rainier III on Sunday. The pair has already met six times in their ATP Head2Head series (3-3), including three matches last year and also at last month’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

The Greek player has been in world-beating form this week in Monte-Carlo, where he also lives and trains. Tsitsipas hasn’t dropped a set all week, grounding Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev in his opening match, and cruising against Cristian Garin and breakout semi-finalist Daniel Evans. He also beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (7-5, ret.) along the way.

“I’m feeling good. I’m feeling energised. I still have plenty of gas and energy left in me,” Tsitsipas said. “I was able to have all of my matches done in two sets, so that is I would say a big plus. I am happy to be able to play that way, just take it match by match, approach each individual match with the same intensity and energy. That has obviously contributed to that, to be able to finish the matches in two sets, not go to three-setters.” 

Five-time ATP Tour titlist Tsitsipas is looking to lift his biggest trophy in Monte-Carlo after his 2019 Nitto ATP Finals triumph at The O2 in London. A victory would also be his first championship at an ATP 500, ATP Masters 1000 or Grand Slam tournament. By contrast, his opponent Rublev has swept 23 matches and four titles in a row at ATP 500 events from 2020-21.

It took a member of the Big Three to stop Tsitsipas in his previous Masters 1000 finals at the 2018 National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto (l. Nadal) and at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open (l. Djokovic). Gearing up for his clash with Rublev, a first-time finalist at this level, Tsitsipas assured the press that he is not feeling any added pressure to get the job done.

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Pressure? Not For Tsitsipas: ‘It’s How Much I Really Want It’

“It’s not so much about that. It’s more how much I really want it,” Tsitsipas said. “That doesn’t necessarily add pressure to me. It’s just pure determination, willingness to go over the top to get what I want. I don’t like to think as it of pressure. I wouldn’t call it that way.”

In the first match on Court Rainier III, Evans will hope to complete his dream week in Monte-Carlo with the ultimate prize as he partners with countryman Neal Skupski in the championship doubles clash. The pair has reached back-to-back Masters 1000 finals in Miami and Monte-Carlo, the first two tournaments of their new partnership. The Brits will have a chance to avenge their South Florida defeat on Sunday as they’ve booked a rematch with second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

Watch Live | View TV Schedule

How To Watch

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2021
COURT RAINIER III start 12:00 noon

D. Evans (GBR) / N. Skupski (GBR) vs [2] N. Mektic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[4] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs [6] A. Rublev (RUS)

Rublev: 'I'm Really Controlling My Emotions'

Andrey Rublev may have won 65 out of his past 79 matches and won six ATP Tour titles since the start of the 2020 season, but the Russian is still learning to keep his emotions in check.

On Saturday, the 23-year-old admitted that it had cost him a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 final earlier this month at the Miami Open presented by Itau, when he fell to eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.

“I lost [in Miami], because of my emotions,” said Rublev, after his 6-3, 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. “In the end, if you want to learn, you will improve this. I want to learn, and I want to improve. That’s why I’m doing better.

How To Watch

This week, at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, the Russian star has learned from his past mistakes and beaten Salvatore Caruso, Roberto Bautista Agut, 11-time former champion Rafael Nadal and Ruud en route to his 11th ATP Tour final (8-2).

“It’s not easy. Some matches [your emotions] will still be up and downs. This week, [it] looks like I’m really controlling my emotions well. That’s why I’m doing well. That’s why I won the match with Roberto, when I was losing. That’s why I won the match against Rafa when he came back in second set. Even today, in the second set, I came back because I didn’t go crazy. I just kept focused. I kept in the match. It turned around.”

Rublev will now prepare to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final at the Monte-Carlo County Club. The pair has already met six times in their ATP Head2Head series (3-3), including three matches last year and also at last month’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Tsitsipas will be appearing in his third Masters 1000 final (also 2018 Toronto, 2019 Madrid).

“I’m feeling great and happy to play one more final, especially my first ATP Masters [1000] final,” said Rublev. “It’s going to be tough match. We [have] already had many battles with each other last year. Some of them he won, some of them I won. Most of them were super tough three-set matches. I hope we will show great tennis [tomorrow] and people will enjoy [it].”

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Rublev Reaches First Masters 1000 Final, Plays Tsitsipas In Monte-Carlo

Rublev will be in first position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, for one of the eight spots at the Nitto ATP Finals in November, should he lift the biggest title of his career on Sunday. Should Tsitsipas win, the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion, will be in pole position.

“If you want to be a better player [at] the next level, you need to know how to do everything,” said the Muscovite. “If you look at the best players, they do everything. They know how to volley, how to hit, how to defend, how to slice, everything… I’m trying to improve.”

Pressure? Not For Tsitsipas: 'It's How Much I Really Want It'

Stefanos Tsitsipas hopes to keep his emotions in check on Sunday as he bids to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 crown against Andrey Rublev in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final.

Having lost to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, respectively, in his two previous Masters 1000 finals at the 2018 National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto and the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open, the Greek star insists he isn’t under extra pressure.

“It’s not so much about that,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s more how much I really want it. That doesn’t necessarily add pressure to me. It’s just pure determination, willingness to go over the top to get what I want. I don’t like to think as it of pressure.”

How To Watch

Tsitsipas, who lifted the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals trophy, has a 3-3 record in his ATP Head2Head series against Rublev, who has compiled an ATP Tour-best 24-4 match record on the 2021 season. They are tied 1-1 in clay-court clashes.

“I’m feeling good,” said Tsitsipas, who will attempt to secure his sixth ATP Tour crown after beating Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday. “I’m feeling energised. I still have plenty of gas and energy left in me.

Watch Saturday’s Semi-Final Highlights

“I was able to have all of my matches done in two sets, so that is I would say a big plus. I am happy to be able to play that way, just take it match by match, approach each individual match with the same intensity and energy… I’m really focused for tomorrow.

“Obviously, it is important to elevate my game and try and push it to the limits. I really, really want to be in that position where I come close to winning big tournaments like this. It’s a dream of mine to be playing in the final, honestly.”

The 22-year-old Tsitsipas will be appearing in his second final of 2021, following a 6-4, 7-6(3) loss to Alexander Zverev at last month’s Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC final in Acapulco. He has a 21-5 match record on the season.

Should he capture the Monte-Carlo crown, Tsitsipas will also move into first spot in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, for one of eight places at the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

Ruud On Monte-Carlo Run: ‘It’s A Nice Confidence Booster’

Casper Ruud entered the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with a point to prove. After five matches in the Principality, the 22-year-old has done just that and more.

In the week before the ATP Masters 1000 tournament, Ruud was beaten in the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open quarter-finals by 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz. Ruud used his loss to the #NextGenATP Spaniard as a source of motivation in Monte-Carlo. He wanted to take his game to the next level.

“It’s a nice confidence booster [to reach the semi-finals],” said Ruud. “Coming into this week, I played pretty well in Marbella, but I lost to a good young player. I got a tough beating there. He was playing very well. [It] surprised me a bit how well Alcaraz was playing back in Marbella. He showed me that the young guys are coming. I felt like it was time for me to step up a little bit.”

How To Watch

Ruud was aiming to reach his maiden Masters 1000 final in Monte-Carlo, but he was unable to overcome sixth seed Andrey Rublev on Court Rainier III. The World No. 27’s run to the final four at the Monte-Carlo Country Club marked his second straight semi-final appearance at a clay Masters 1000 event (Rome 2020).

“I played well here in Monte-Carlo, which gave me confidence,” said Ruud. “Unfortunately, [it] wasn’t to be today. It’s been a good week. I’ve been playing good matches and beating good players. It’s a very good start of the clay court season for me.”

En route to the semi-finals, Ruud beat a trio of established ATP Tour stars best known for their clay-court prowess. The Oslo native, who trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Mallorca, defeated World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman, Marbella titlist Pablo Carreno Busta and defending champion Fabio Fognini in consecutive matches.

“I had some good wins here,” said Ruud. “The three previous rounds against Schwartzman, Carreno Busta and Fognini, I played well. I was able to beat very good players, especially on a clay court, which I think is their best surface.”

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Rublev Reaches First Masters 1000 Final, Plays Tsitsipas In Monte-Carlo

Ruud is keen to use his strong performance in the Principality as a springboard. Last year’s Buenos Aires titlist is already focused on testing his skills at future events, including back-to-back Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome next month.

“I’m taking with me a lot of confidence for the next tournaments. I’m really looking forward to the next Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome, where I will try to do my best to try to defend my semi-final from last year,” said Ruud. “I have good memories from Rome. And I’m looking forward to playing Madrid. It will be my first time playing the main draw event there.

“Some nice weeks [are] coming. It’s been a very good start of the European clay court season for me. I’m ready for the next tournaments.”

Evans: 'I Will Never Forget Beating Novak'

Daniel Evans says that he will take a lot of great memories out of his run to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters semi-finals, in spite of losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday.

“It’s been a good week; it’s been pretty long [and] it’s been mentally pretty draining,” said Evans, who came into the ATP Masters 1000 tournament at the Monte-Carlo Country Club on the back of a 10-match losing streak.

“I’ve not been home since I think before Australia. I’m really enjoying being out and playing matches. It’s really helped playing doubles with Neal [Skupski and] sort of have a pretty good friend here. Obviously, I got my girlfriend… Granted, we’re in a bubble. But it’s been a pretty easy workplace to play and to live in.”

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The 30-year-old Briton knocked out World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 in the third round on Thursday and is projected to return to his career-high of No. 26 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.

“You can’t say it’s bad to beat the World No. 1, but it was pretty draining, like, the day after [and] the end of that day,” said Evans. “I could know what to expect of it more with bigger wins. Yeah, it was difficult. Today, the nature of the game at this level, especially Masters [1000], at any time of the tournament, you have to back up win after win after win, if you want to go all the way.”

Evans, who lost to Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 in the semi-finals, added, “Today was difficult. Obviously doesn’t help the way he plays. He’s very aggressive. So there’s still work to be done. I can’t be negative about today. [I] just have to park that and go again really. It’s been a great week. I won’t ever forget beating Novak, World No. 1. Yesterday to back it up in a great match was good, as well.”

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The British No. 1, who captured his first ATP Tour title in February at the Murray River Open (d. Auger-Aliassime), is now 10-6 on the season and is looking forward to the rest of the clay swing.

“I’m genuinely enjoying playing tennis and competing, having a good battle,” said Evans. “I lost, but I enjoyed it. It’s another great time on a tennis court, on a great court. I’ve enjoyed all the other matches.

“I prepared well. I gave myself the best chance. That’s what I’ll do for the rest of the season. I think on the clay, I could take some of that onto the grass. Maybe [onto] the Grand Slams, on the hard, I’ve been putting a bit too much pressure [on myself], looking to really want to win.

“Rather than when I come out on the clay, I’m more focused on my game and trying to get that right, then the result comes. There’s things to maybe take onto the grass and the hard from this week definitely.”