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HomeSportStefanos Tsitsipas Wins Third Monte Carlo Masters 1000 Title

Stefanos Tsitsipas Wins Third Monte Carlo Masters 1000 Title

Stefanos Tsitsipas, world number 12, won the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 for the third time in his career, defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud (No. 10) 6-1, 6-4 in the final on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Greek, who had already won on the Monegasque clay in 2021 and 2022, becomes the fifth player in the Open era (since 1968) to have his name inscribed on the tournament’s roll of honor on at least three occasions, after Ilie Nastase (3), Björn Borg (3), Thomas Muster (3), and Rafael Nadal (11).

“It’s incredible to taste victory again. There is a God up there!” exclaimed Tsitsipas, who considers the Rainier III court in the Principality as one of his favorite places.

It is the eleventh ATP title of his career and the first of the current season. He achieved it after defeating three top 10 players this week: Alexander Zverev (5th) in the round of 16, Jannik Sinner (2nd) in the semifinals, and now Ruud in the final.

The triumph over Sinner had already been the best of omens. Against the player in form on the circuit, who had only lost one match this season, he achieved a convincing success. He had not defeated a player so well-ranked since he beat Russian Daniil Medvedev, then also number 2, at Roland Garros in 2021.

Before this tournament in Monte Carlo, he had not played a final of a Masters 1000 on clay since Rome in 2022.

Since his trophy in Los Cabos (Mexico) in August 2023, Tsitsipas had not won a tournament, and now, thanks to this triumph, he will return to the world’s top 10 on Monday after eight weeks outside of it: he will rise to seventh place in the rankings and officially presents his candidacy for Roland Garros.

Winning a Grand Slam is precisely his pending subject after having been runner-up at Roland Garros (2021) and the Australian Open (2023).

Ruud, without a chance

Ruud, former world number 2, will climb to number 6 in the rankings, his best position since September 2023. For the second time, he failed in a Masters 1000 final, after falling in Miami in 2022.

“You love this tournament and have played very well throughout the week. You deserve to return to the top 10,” Ruud told him during the trophy presentation ceremony.

The Norwegian player had just eliminated world number one Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, a rival against whom he had not won a single set in the past, but the final proved to be an impossible obstacle to overcome.

The Greek’s game was much more fluid and forceful from the beginning. Tsitsipas, more aggressive, frequently came to the net, while Ruud limited himself to a defensive game from the back of the court, trying to impose himself on points after long exchanges.

Only at 3-3 in the second set did Ruud seem capable of imposing his law: he saved a 40-0 against him, equalized that game, and then had three break points, which he did not take advantage of. That ended up sinking him emotionally and made it clear that it was not his afternoon.

Tsitsipas then finished the match in style, breaking Ruud’s serve and demonstrating that he feels at home in Monte Carlo.

This edition of the Masters 1000, which traditionally opens the European clay court season, had been marked by the last-minute withdrawals of Spaniards Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz due to physical problems.

It has also served to show that Djokovic is not at his best. The Serb has yet to win a tournament this year, and the race towards Roland Garros looks very open this year.

With Monte Carlo concluded, Barcelona, Madrid, or Rome will serve as barometers in the coming weeks before the Parisian Grand Slam.

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