Stefanos Tsitsipas defended his title and won the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in Monaco. Defeating Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina 6-3, 7-6(3) to win his second ATP Masters 1000 title, the Greek looks set for another success this season.
A clear win for the season
Tsitsipas defeated 2019 champion Fabio Fognini, Laszlo Djere and world number two Alexander Zverev in straight sets in his triumphant performance at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. A quarter-final against Diego Schwartzman make some worry, but a 0-4 outcome in the third set still gave Stefanos Tsitsipas a chance of reaching the final.
The 23-year-old Greek, who beat Andrey Rublev in the Monte Carlo title match last season, will move up to No. 2 on Monday in the ATP Race to Turin rankings. Tsitsipas has taken eight tournament trophies to date. Monaco’s victory was his first success of the 2022 season.
By defeating his opponent in one hour and 34 minutes, Tsitsipas became the sixth player to win consecutive titles in Monte Carlo. Today, he repeated the success of notable players such as Rafael Nadal (2005-12, 2016-18), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2002-03), Thomas Muster (1995-96), Bjorn Borg (1979-1980) and Ilie Nastase (1971-1973).
First ATP tournament appearance
Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina’s performance in his first ATP tournament final brought many surprises, beating world number one ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic and playing strongly against Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-3. The ambitious 22-year-old tennis player had many chances to take the top trophy.
In a fast start on the Rainier III court, Davidovich-Fokina showed no signs of stress. Starting strongly, he quickly found his range on the forehand from the base-line to earn an early break. However, Tsitsipas reacted quickly and struck hard, hitting from the forehand past the Spaniard and taking a counter break, 2-2.
The Greek tennis player then made Davidovich-Fokina run from corner to corner, winning four games and taking the lead after 31 minutes.
Tsitsipas took control early in the second set, overwhelming Davidovich-Fokina with his shots. The 23-year-old tennis player took a 2-0 break, but Davidovich-Fokina pulled himself together and evened the score to 4-4. When Tsitsipas’s miss-hit forehand shot hit the net, Tsitsipas won the point with this shot as the Spaniard was unable to cope with it. Playing more consistently on the tie-break, he forced Davidovich-Fokina to make errors and prevailed.
Both have months of preparation behind them, hard work not only of the athletes but of the whole team. Tsitsipas and Davidovich-Fokina met a year ago in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo tournament. The Spaniard lost the first set with a score of 7-5. They met again in February when Tsitsipas beat him 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-4 in Rotterdam.
Despite the loss, Davidovich-Fokina is going to move up to No. 27 in the ATP rankings, a record for his career. It is safe to say that the athlete still has managed to fulfil his dream. He came to Monte Carlo with a 4-9 record in the 2022 season.
The doubles winners
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury won the doubles title with an incredible 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 victory over Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final.
In the doubles final on the Rainier III court, the two teams, winners of multiple Grand Slam tournaments, worked hard to show their best result of the season.
They had already met five times in their careers. The outcome of the four meetings was either a match tie-break or a third set tie-break. Ram and Salisbury, who lead the ATP Head2Head Series 4-1, have taken all four tie-breaks, including three in 2021 (Eastbourne, Wimbledon and the Nitto ATP Finals).
But Cabal and Farah won the only final between the teams, winning in straight sets to win the title in Vienna in 2021.
Both teams lost just one set each before the championship match, setting themselves up for a grand final in Monaco. The American-British duo overcame this latest clash with Cabal and Farah, sixth in the doubles rankings at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament, with a strong game.
The duo had previously won Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open in 2020 and the US Open. In the ATP Head2Head Series, Sunday’s final was the first meeting between the teams for the 2022 season.
Ram and Salisbury, who won their first Masters 1000 title at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Toronto last year, are now looking forward to more success in the 2022 season.