Tsitsipas targets ‘top two’ after defending Monte Carlo crown | Tennis News

MONTE CARLO (Principality of Monaco): Stefanos Tsitsipas has said he is aiming to finish the season in the world’s top two after successfully defending his Monte-Carlo Masters title with a hard-fought win over Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Sunday’s final.
Third seed Tsitsipas hammered out 21 winners and committed just 11 unforced errors in the Monaco sun to win 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in an hour and 36 minutes.
It was the 23-year-old Greek’s eighth ATP title and first in 11 months as he made the perfect start to the clay-court season.
“I can definitely have a great season and maybe finish it in the top two,” said the world number five, whose triumph in Monaco was his fourth tournament success on clay.
“This year I really want to have good results on grass and on hard courts because I’m sure I can score big ATP points there.
“If I can win games there with as much consistency as on clay, I think I have a great chance of finishing the year in the top two. That’s one of my big goals. .”
Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal are currently above Tsitsipas in the ATP rankings.
Tsitsipas became the sixth player to win back-to-back Monte Carlo Masters in the Open era, emulating Nadal, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Thomas Muster, Bjorn Borg and Ilie Nastase.
“It’s great, especially because the fans were there. It was livelier than last year,” said Tsitsipas, who beat Andrey Rublev in the 2021 final, which was held behind closed doors in due to the Covid pandemic.
He is preparing for another French Open title tilt after losing last year’s French Open final to Djokovic despite a two-set lead.
“I think my tennis is excellent on all surfaces, although it adapts better to clay,” added Tsitsipas.
Davidovich Fokina knocked out world number one Djokovic earlier this week but couldn’t repeat those feats in his first ATP Finals, losing for the third time in as many encounters with Tsitsipas.
“I always thought about being in the final here one day… I hope to be here again next year,” said Davidovich Fokina, who also reached the quarter-finals last year before retiring. injured after a set against Tsitsipas.
The world number 46 struck on the first Sunday, breaking the third game, but Tsitsipas fought back with a magnificent forehand down the line to level the first set at 2-2.
The set stayed on serve until the eighth game, when Tsitsipas broke as Davidovich Fokina fired a backhand into the tramlines.
The Greek star ended the opener with a love hold, capped off with an ace.
World number five Tsitsipas hit two break points in the opener of the second set and took full control of the final as Davidovich Fokina fired a long rotational baseline shot.
The underdog continued to fight hard, however, falling back in game four as Tsitsipas framed a backhand into the crowd, with 22-year-old Davidovich Fokina waving his arms happily.
But Tsitsipas continued to put the Spaniard under pressure and took his third break point of a marathon game to lead 5-4 and give the chance to serve for the title.
Tsitsipas produced a nervous game, however, and Davidovich Fokina spiked to extend the game.
The second set went to a tie-break, where Tsitsipas took a 5-1 lead with a shot that cut the net cord and landed on the sideline edge.
Davidovich Fokina saved a championship point, but Tsitsipas secured the trophy the second time to ask with a magnificent passing shot after a defiant defense from his side.

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