Monte Carlo Masters 2022: Stefanos Tsitsipas successfully defends ATP 1000 crown

The third seed had a standout week, playing consistent and aggressive tennis to win his first title since winning in Lyon last May.

Stefanos Tistispas after winning the Monte Carlo Masters. (Image: Twitter/Roland Garros)

Stefanos Tsitsipas won the Monte-Carlo Masters for the second time on Sunday, defeating Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-6(3) to win his second ATP Masters 1000 title. The Greek, who was playing in his fourth final at this level, used fierce topspin and accuracy on his forehands and came back from a 5-4 deficit in the second set to win his first trophy of the season.

“I am very proud of myself,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “Things weren’t going well at one point, but I managed to stay composed to finish the match off. I am really proud with the belief I put in my game. Sometimes you doubt yourself, but it is always important to keep your head high.”

“He fought in moments I didn’t expect him to fight,” the Greek said. “He can hit incredible winners out of nowhere and play unpredictably. But I was able to minimise that. I knew he would be a dangerous opponent but that is a great win for me. I think we will see great results from him in the future.”

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With his one-hour, 34-minute victory, Tsitsipas joins Rafael Nadal (2005-12, 2016-18), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2002-03), Thomas Muster (1995-96), Bjorn Borg (1979-1980), and Ilie Nastase as the sixth player in the Open Era to win back-to-back Monte Carlo titles (1971-1973). The third seed had a standout week, playing consistent and aggressive tennis to win his first title since winning in Lyon last May. Tsitsipas won in straight sets against 2019 champion Fabio Fognini, Laslo Djere, and second seed Alexander Zverev, but had a scare in the quarter-finals against Diego Schwartzman, rallying from 0-4 in the third set to advance.

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The epic battle

After 31 minutes, the Greek continued to impose his heavy-hitting game on Davidovich Fokina, pulling the 22-year-old from corner to corner and winning four of the next five games to take the lead. Tsitsipas seized further control of the match at the start of the second set, outstriking Davidovich Fokina with his ball-striking. The 23-year-old broke for a 2-0 lead, but Davidovich Fokina demonstrated the grit that has led to his breakthrough results this week. The Spaniard, pumped up and in the zone, began to club the ball with greater width, bringing the score back to 4-4.

Tsitsipas broke for the second time when his mis-hit forehand landed in on break point at 4-4, before winning the point with a topspin forehand that the Spaniard was unable to return. However, the Greek was unable to serve out the match, as Davidovich Fokina raised his game to force a tie-break. Tsitsipas, on the other hand, would not be denied a second Masters 1000 title, winning the tie-break after forcing errors from Davidovich Fokina with his width.

Sportslumo Desk

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