Tsitsipas wins Monte Carlo Masters without dropping a set

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MONACO (AP) — Stefanos Tsitsipas won the Monte Carlo Masters without dropping a set, beating Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday for his first title this year and sixth overall.

Fourth-seeded Tsitsipas was in dominant form as he edged 4-3 ahead of the sixth-seeded Russian in their career meetings, having also beaten him on clay last year in the French Open quarterfinals.

“I had an unbelievable week. It is incredible that I am able to be in the position that I am ... I would consider it as the best week of my life so far," Tsitsipas said. “There were a lot of nerves coming into that match. Playing Andrey was a very difficult thing to do today, also considering that it was a final. I am definitely proud of the way I managed to behave on the court."

Tsitsipas also clinched his first Masters title.

“It is even more special doing it here in Monte Carlo and doing it on clay, which is my favourite surface,” he said.

The 22-year-old Greek won his last title in February last year at the Open 13 indoor tournament in Marseille — just weeks before France went into lockdown for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 23-year-old Rublev was aiming for his second title of the year, his first at Masters level and ninth overall. He had produced an audacious display to defeat record 11-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday, and further confirm why he is one of the rising stars of tennis.

After winning the ATP Cup with Russia, Rublev reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and then won the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam last month for his fourth title in seven months. Since Rotterdam, he’s reached four consecutive semifinals, including Monte Carlo.

But he couldn't even get a break point against Tsitsipas, who raised a trophy at the Monte-Carlo Country Club 40 years after his Russian mother did so.

Julia Salnikova — a former Fed Cup player for the Soviet Union — won a junior title at the same venue in 1981.

“I can’t describe my feelings right now,” Tsitsipas said. “I am overwhelmed by so many different emotions and nostalgia.”

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