Defending Monte Carlo champion Tsitsipas dispatches Zverev to return to final
5th-ranked Greek will face unseeded Spaniard Davidovich Fokina for title
Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas breezed into the Monte Carlo Masters final after dispatching second-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday.
Tsitsipas lined up the first big final of the clay-court season against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the Spaniard who knocked out Novak Djokovic in the second round.
Davidovich Fokina reached his first ATP final by beating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
Tsitsipas dominated Zverev on clay like the Greek never had previously. Zverev recovered from a break down twice in the first set that Tsitsipas took with a third break in the 10th game.
No. 5-ranked Tsitsipas then broke twice more in the second set and improved his record against No. 3 Zverev to 7-3, on clay to 3-0. The German won both of their hard-court contests last year.
Never in doubt 🇬🇷<br><br>A rock-steady <a href="https://twitter.com/steftsitsipas?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steftsitsipas</a> gets past Zverev 6-4 6-2 and will defend his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RolexMCMasters?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RolexMCMasters</a> title tomorrow! <a href="https://t.co/vBleRyVhQb">pic.twitter.com/vBleRyVhQb</a>—@TennisTV
Tsitsipas was on court just 12 hours after winning a long quarter-final.
"I had to put my soul out," Tsitsipas said.
"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 said he felt spent against Tsitsipas following his own lengthy quarter-final on Friday against Jannik Sinner, during which he struggled with a leg injury.
"It took a lot out of me [and] the issue with my leg didn't help," Zverev said.
He was grateful for a positive start to the clay-court season after a challenging few weeks.
Since then, he's won two Davis Cup singles to help Germany beat Brazil, lost to Casper Ruud in the Miami quarter-finals and fallen ill, and overcome Sinner in Monte Carlo but got slightly injured.
"I feel like things keep happening that are a little bit out of my control, which is a little bit upsetting for me," Zverev said.
The unseeded Davidovich Fokina took the first set from Dimitrov with ease, but squandered the chance at 5-4 in the second to take the semifinal in straight sets. The third set was tense. Davidovich Fokina overcame a break and 2-0 down.
"I pushed myself to the limit," Davidovich Fokina said. "I'm glad that I pushed myself to that."
The Spaniard will try to prevent Tsitsipas from becoming the first repeat Monte Carlo champion since Rafael Nadal in 2018. Tsitsipas has a 2-0 record against him, including in February in the Netherlands.