Tsitsipas returns to Monte Carlo final with comfortable win over Zverev

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece powered into the Monte Carlo Masters final after knocking out second seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-4, 6-2.

The Greek world No.5, who will face Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the final, has the chance to be the first repeat champion at Monaco since Rafael Nadal of Spain.

Davidovich Fokina, who had already hit a brilliant week including a stunning victory over world No.1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, reached his maiden ATP tour-level event final by edging Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-3 on Saturday night.

Tsitsipas had gone through a tough three-setter quartfinal against Diego Schwartzman from Argentina on Friday night, but he showed no sign of fatigue in the clash with Zverev on Saturday even though this match started only 12 hours after the last one.

The third seed dominated the show from the very beginning, only needed 75 minutes to wrap up the victory and improved his record against the German world No. 3 to 7-3, Xinhua reports.

“I had to put my soul out,” said Tsitsipas. “I wanted to stay on the court as much as I had to, trying to start rallies and make it physical. It worked in my favour.”

Zverev came back from a break down twice in the opening set, but failed to do so when Tsitsipas took the set with his third break in the 10th game.

The third seed reached the semifinal also with a marathon win on Friday, fighting for over three hours to take out Italian Jannik Sinner in a three-set thriller, during which he struggled with a right thigh injury.

“It took a lot out of me (and) the issue with my leg didn’t help,” Zverev said.

World No.46 Davidovich Fokina is enjoying the greatest week in his career, beating top-seeded Djokovic and Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz of the United States en route to the final.

“It’s going to take a little bit more,” said Tsitsipas. “He’s on a good run, in a good rhythm. I’ve played him before, he’s a good opponent, I’ve had big battles against him and I’m going to try and be as ready as possible.”

Tsitsipas and Davidovich Fokina met one year ago in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals, with the Spaniard retiring after dropping a 7-5 opening set. Their second meeting came in February when Tsitsipas scored a 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-4 win in Rotterdam.

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