Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday April 13, 2024

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas rallied from a break down in the final set to knock off the tour's toughest out on Saturday in Monte-Carlo.

Photo Source: TTV

Stefanos Tsitsipas continues to be a force to be reckoned with at Monte-Carlo.

The Greek battled through adversity and surged past a hobbled Jannik Sinner in a dramatic third set to claim a spot in his third Monte-Carlo final 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 on Saturday, improving his overall record to 19-3 in the Principality and returning to the Top 10 in the ATP live rankings at No.9.

Tennis Express

“It was tennis at its highest level,” Two-time Monte-Carlo champion Tsitsipas said. “Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent – to overcome that obstacle and to find ways when there weren’t many, I’m actually really proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game.”

Tsitsipas snaps Sinner’s nine-match winning streak and drops the Italian to 25-2 on the season. The 22-year-old later said that his leg issues, which he suffered late in the deciding set, were related to cramping.

"It's not easy to play. I tried my best still," Tsitsipas said. "Stefanos raised the level, but when the momentum changes, it goes like this. This is the fun part of tennis."

It was a big afternoon for the Greek, who has struggled to find his best tennis in 2024 and had fallen out of the Top 10 for the first time in five years in February. A return to the clay, where he plays his most assertive tennis, has been the spark.

2021 and 2022 Monte-Carlo champion Tsitsipas improved to 6-3 lifetime against Sinner and handled the vicissitudes of a wild ride with this year’s Australian Open champion to come through in two hours and 40 minutes.

Tsitsipas took charge in the opening set, playing some of his most authoritative tennis of the season.

"It was one of the best first sets I have played on clay," he said. "So much consistency and great quality of shot-making. Just pure, clean game from start to finish. I was playing as equally good on the cross as I was playing on the down-the-line. It was a great feeling to be kind of in the zone right from the beginning."

Sinner hit back in the second set, taking the play to Tsitsipas as the physical battle went in his favor.

The third set was memorable on several levels. After falling behind early against Sinner, who was pinning him behind the baseline with accuracy, pace and depth, Tsitsipas got a big break while serving at 1-3, with the match hanging in the balance. He saved two break points – the second when a clear double-fault was missed by the line judges and umpire Arelie Tourte – and held to stay within a break at 2-3

"I think the match would have turned out completely different if that would have been called out," Tsitsipas later said. "I will agree that it would have been pretty bad for me if that call was made. There are a lot of weird things on clay that we don't see on other surfaces. One of them is the line calling and sometimes the marking."

Sinner said it was a tough moment for him as well.

"It's tough to accept this, yes," he said. "It's tough, a tough one to swallow, because I was playing at some point great tennis. Tactically everything went in the right direction.

"Everyone can make mistakes unfortunately or fortunately. Also I can make mistakes. And it went like this.

Two games after the missed double-fault Sinner had to see the trainer with an issue with his right leg.

The Italian wasn’t the same down the stretch and couldn’t hold off Tsitsipas, who converted his fifth break point to level up at 4-all and then won eight of the final 10 points to steer past Sinner, who also appeared to be struggling with another issue near his left hamstring in the final games.

Tsitsipas earns his first Top 2 win and reaches his first Masters 1000 final since defeating No.1-ranked Medvedev at Cincinnati in 2022.

He will face either Novak Djokovic or Casper Ruud for the title on Sunday.

“It for sure helps a lot, knowing that I have a win like this under my belt,” Tsitsipas said. “This is something that I’ve been aiming for for a very long time, getting to that level of tennis again, it brings a lot of satisfaction to me.”


Latest News