Stefanos Tsitsipas Outclasses Andre Rublev to Capture Maiden Masters 1000 Title at Monte-Carlo Masters 2021

Published 04/18/2021, 10:05 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 18, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during the final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Stefanos Tsitsipas won his maiden Masters 1000 title in his third attempt as he beat Russian Andrey Rublev to lift the Monte-Carlo Masters trophy on Sunday, becoming the first Greek player to win a Masters


Article continues below this ad

Though Rublev took three points off his serve in the opening set, Tsitsipas reeled off two straight points to come away with a hold.

Stefanos Tsitsipas takes a firm hold against Andrey Rublev by winning the opening set 6-3


Article continues below this ad

However, it was Tsitsipas who pressed on the early advantage as he cashed in on his first break point in the following to open up a 2-0 lead in the opening set.

The Greek followed up with another comfortable service hold to extend his lead to 3-0.

While it was too early in the exchange, Rublev seemed to be slow in getting into his gear while Tsitsipas hit the ground running.

It could well have been an attack of nerves for the Russian as he was playing his maiden Masters 1000 final.

The Greek, again, took a couple of points off the Russian’s serve to open up a 0-30 lead in the next game. However, Rublev came back well to hold serve and get off the mark in the opening set.

Looking formidable and focused, Tsitsipas responded with another hold to love to extend his lead to 4-1.

At 15-0 on his next service, Rublev was caught wanting at the net as he sent back a limp overhead shot only to see the Greek make it 15-15 with an easy put-away.

Tsitsipas unleashed a screamer of a forehand cross court to bring the score to deuce. However, the Russian managed to come away with a hold again to reduce his deficit to 2-4.

Pulling out some rasping strokes to open up the court, the Greek ran up a 40-lead in the following game and cashed in on his game point to go 5-1 up in the first set.

The Russian held serve with little fuss in his next service game to make it 5-3.

Serving for the opening set, Tsitsipas brought up three game points and converted to take a firm hold of the championship clash.

Tsitsipas got a decisive break and pressed home the advantage

Bursting with momentum, the World No.5 pushed the Rublev serve again, but the latter came away with a hold to open a 1-0 lead in the second set.

Tsitsipas responded with a sharp service hold to make it 1-1.

The Greek opened the next game with an unstoppable backhand down-the-line winner to open up a 0-15 lead. However, the Russian came back well to bring up game point.

However, Tsitsipas produced an exquisite drop shot to make it 40-40. He then brought up his second breakpoint and converted it to go 2-1 up in the second set.

Though the Greek is capable of meltdowns of the kind that saw him blow his quarter-final hopes at Miami Open from a position of absolute strength, it was difficult to see Tsitsipas going down from here on.

He served out another clinical game to go 4-1 up. The Russian responded with a hold of his own to reduce the deficit to 2-3.

But the damage seemed to have been done.

Playing at quite another level, Tsitsipas served out another clinical game to extend his lead to 4-2.

Coming out punching in his next service game, the World No.7 brought up game point and converted it to reduce his gap to 4-3.

Unforced errors cost the Russian again as the Greek pulled away to another hold to take his lead to 5-3.

Serving to stay in the match, Rublev conceded two points to stare at a 0-30 deficit.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 18, 2021 Russia’s Andrey Rublev in action during the final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Cashing in on his third breakpoint, Tsitsipas fell on his knees and held his arms aloft as he Rublev pulled a shot wide.


Article continues below this ad

The two players went into the championship battle tied 3-3 in six head-to-head clashes.

What’s more, there is nothing to separate them on clay as both Rublev and Tsitsipas have won one match apiece on dirt.


Article continues below this ad

The Russian got the better of the Greek on the red soil at Humburg in 2020, while the latter his own back in the quarter-finals of the French Open later that year.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.