ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Casper Ruud to win Monte-Carlo title for third time

By Sports Desk April 14, 2024

Stefanos Tsitsipas brushed aside Casper Ruud to claim his third Monte-Carlo Masters title in four years.

The Greek star took just an hour and 37 minutes to see off his Norwegian opponent 6-1 6-4 on Court Rainier III.

Ruud dispatched world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals but he could not repeat the feat as Tsitsipas once again produced his best tennis in the principality.

The title winner, who has had to overcome a back problem, told the ATP Tour’s official website: “It has been very difficult, so to be back on the podiums, winning tournaments just feels amazing.

“I can’t thank my family enough and friends – and if there is God out there – for making this moment possible. I am extremely grateful for every person behind this journey.

“The third time is even more special than the first or second time. This is an unbelievable win for me. Capturing that win today was nerve-wracking. I really wanted this trinity. I am extremely happy today.”

The 25-year-old 12th seed came out firing against the world number 10, breaking the struggling Ruud in the third game and clinching the first set at the second time of asking.

He had to save a break point in the first game of the second set and then three in the seventh as the improving Norwegian pushed for a way back into the match.

However, Tsitsipas then broke to edge himself towards the finishing line and complete a good afternoon’s work.

He said: “I am glad I presented on court and showed some ruthless tennis. From the beginning to the end my play was cohesive and I was able to blend in a lot of different shots.”

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from the Barcelona Open due to injury.

The world number three pulled out of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a right forearm problem and has not recovered in time to defend his title in his home country.

A statement from the tournament read: “Carlos Alcaraz will not be able to defend the title he won the last two seasons.

“The player from Murcia has suffered from the injury sustained in Monte Carlo, and did not have a good feeling in his training on Sunday and, despite having tried until the last moment, he will not be in the Barcelona Open.

“Wishing you a speedy recovery, we hope to see you next year.”

Fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal is scheduled to make his comeback from injury at the tournament.

The 37-year-old has not played on the main tour since January due to a hip injury.

Related items

  • Ruud doubles up to win Geneva Open Ruud doubles up to win Geneva Open

    Casper Ruud played twice on Saturday to win the Geneva Open, as he heads into Roland-Garros in fine form.

    With his semi-final against Flavio Cobolli having been postponed on Friday due to rain, Ruud returned to the court to seal a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) victory.

    The Norwegian was swiftly back in action in Switzerland, taking on Tomas Machac, who stunned Novak Djokovic on Friday, in the final.

    And the world number seven made light work of Mahac, winning 7-5 6-3 to become the first three-time champion at the Geneva Open, which he also won in 2021 and 2022.

    Data Debrief: Clay court specialist 

    Ruud has now claimed an 11th ATP event title on clay since the start of the 2020 season.

    He is the only player to win 10+ titles over that span on the surface, with Carlos Alcaraz (seven) the next best.

  • Nadal refuses to rule out Roland-Garros return Nadal refuses to rule out Roland-Garros return

    Rafael Nadal refused to rule out returning to Roland-Garros in the future, suggesting this French Open may not be his last after all.

    Nadal is widely anticipated to retire after the 2024 season, meaning this year's French Open would be his final appearance at a major he has won a record 14 times.

    The Spaniard has been handed a tough draw, with Nadal going up against Alexander Zverev in the first round.

    However, ahead of that tie, Nadal told reporters this may not in fact be his last showing at Roland-Garros.

    "If I have to tell you it's 100 per cent my last Roland Garros, sorry but I will not, because I cannot predict what's going on. I hope you understand," Nadal said.

    "I don't want to close 100 per cent the door, because it's a very simple thing.

    "First, I'm enjoying playing tennis, more or less healthy and playing without limitation.

    "Maybe in one month and a half I'll say 'OK, it's enough, I can't keep going'. But today I cannot guarantee that it's going to be the last one."

    Nadal has endured an injury-hit few seasons, but after playing in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome, feels he is getting closer to true fitness.

    "I'm feeling better. That's the truth," Nadal added, appearing more cheerful than he has in recent months.

    "Probably because we did things to try to feel better and we have been working without a stop to keep going with the process, to try to arrive here in a proper way."

    Nadal's tally of 112 matches won at the French Open is more than any other player has managed when it comes to match wins at a single major, seven ahead of Roger Federer's tally of 105 at Wimbledon.

    He expects a tough test against Zverev, though a potentially good omen is that he is the only player with over 10 wins against top-five opponents at Roland-Garros since the ATP Rankings were published in 1974, with 20 such victories.

    "It's a super-tough first round. Maybe I go there and I repeat the disaster of Rome. It's a possibility. I don't want to hide that," Nadal said.

    "But in my mind is something different, play much better and give myself a chance to be competitive. I didn't play against this level of opponent in a super-long time.

    "The rest of the things are just talking and talking, and in the end don't matter. It's about my feelings and my feelings are better. I want to enjoy that match."

  • Alcaraz 'a little bit scared' by ongoing arm problem ahead of French Open bow Alcaraz 'a little bit scared' by ongoing arm problem ahead of French Open bow

    Carlos Alcaraz says he is feeling better ahead of the French Open, but still has concerns about ongoing issues with his right forearm.

    The world number three reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros 12 months ago, losing out to eventual champion Novak Djokovic, but his preparations have been far from ideal this time around.

    Alcaraz has been dogged by an injury to his right forearm during the clay-court season, which forced him to withdraw from Barcelona and Rome, while his fitness struggles were evident in his Madrid Open quarter-final defeat by Andrey Rublev.

    The Spaniard admits he may have to adapt his game plan against J.J. Wolf in the opening round, but he was optimistic on media day in the French capital.

    "I'm feeling better," he smiled. "At least I can practise and hit balls without pain. That's a really good point for me. I came here to this tournament with not as many matches as I wanted, but I'm focusing on practice.

    "I'm not feeling any pain when I step on the court in practice, but I'm still thinking about it when I am hitting forehands. I'm a little bit scared about hitting every forehand 100 per cent, so I have to change it in my first match.

    "It's Roland Garros, and it's a really special tournament. Everybody wants to have good results here. This tournament is one of the main reasons that I'm practising every day. I want to be a better player, to be able to win these kinds of tournaments.

    "I'm practising well. I'm getting in rhythm. I'm getting confidence [from] the practice and that is really important, and I think I don't need too many matches to get to my 100 per cent level."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.